To get the maximum Social Security benefit payments for a disability, workers must have accumulated enough work credits for eligibility and have high earnings records, reports Nolo. People who have earned more and paid more taxes get higher benefits. Additionally, if workers also receive pensions, workers' compensation or other public disability payments, Social Security may reduce their disability benefits, states the Social Security Administration.
To qualify as disabled, a person must earn less than $1,090 through work as of 2015, explains the Social Security Administration. His condition must be severe enough to prevent him from performing his previous work or adjusting to another type of work. The Social Security Administration keeps a list of severe medical conditions that automatically qualify someone as disabled and a shorter list of extremely serious disabilities that qualify for expedited compassionate allowance of claims. If Social Security denies a worker benefits because his disabilities do not qualify, he has the right to appeal, notes Nolo.
Regardless of his age, once a worker has received Social Security disability benefits for two years, he qualifies for Medicare, according to Nolo. During the interim period, if his income is low enough, he may be eligible for Medicaid. When the condition of a worker improves enough that he can return to work, Social Security terminates disability benefit payments, states CNN Money. When a worker receiving disability payments reach retirement age, his disability benefits become retirement benefits, but the payment amount doesn't change.