If you have never worked and contributed to Social Security through payroll taxes, you may not be eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). 

However, you may still qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), a needs-based program for individuals with limited income and resources, including those who haven’t worked or paid Social Security taxes. Eligibility for SSI is based on financial need and disability status.

For those with constrained income and resources, seeking Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is advisable. However, individuals who haven’t worked or paid Social Security taxes might explore alternative routes, such as the disabled adult child (DAC) or survivors’ benefits programs, to potentially qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). SSDI work history is five or more years within the last decade and the accumulation of 40 work credits.

Can You Get SSI Benefits If you Never Worked?

Eligibility for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is not contingent on a work history. Here’s a breakdown of factors that determine SSI benefits:

  • Medical Condition:

Qualification is primarily based on having a medical condition that meets the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) definition of disability, significantly limiting your ability to work.

  • Age:

SSI benefits are available to individuals of any age, including children and seniors, who meet the criteria for disability and financial need.

  • Income:

SSI considers your income level. To be eligible, your countable income must fall below the federal benefit rate, which varies based on factors like living arrangements and other income sources.

  • Assets:

Limited assets are a criterion for SSI eligibility. The SSA assesses both income and assets to determine financial need, and certain assets, like a primary residence and personal items, are not counted in this evaluation.

Overall, SSI serves as a vital support system for individuals with disabilities who may not have a work history or who face financial challenges.

How To Apply For SSI Benefits?

To apply for SSI benefits, visit the Social Security Administration’s website or contact your local SSA office to initiate the application process. Before applying, prepare detailed information about your financial situation, medical history, and work history. Get detailed information on how to apply for disability benefits.

Is Applying For Disability Benefits Worth It?

Applying for disability benefits can be worth the effort for individuals facing significant challenges due to a disabling condition. These benefits, whether through SSDI or SSI, can provide crucial financial support and access to necessary medical care. 

How Can A Disability Lawyer Help You?

A Social Security disability lawyer can assist by evaluating your work history, interpreting Social Security Administration policies related to work credits, and providing guidance on meeting the eligibility requirements for disability benefits. Their expertise ensures a thorough understanding of the complex criteria, increasing the likelihood of a successful disability claim.


Disability Conditions That May Qualify For Benefits

Blindness Brain Tumor AFIB Autism
Borderline Personality Disorder Cancer Narcolepsy PTSD
Vertigo Schizophrenia Seizure Dyslexia
Celiac Disease Anxiety Depression ADHD
Agoraphobia Alopecia Asthma Bipolar
Breast Cancer Dementia Dysautonomia Epilepsy
Fibromyalgia Hearing Loss lupus POTS
Scoliosis Sleep Apnea Diabetes