In order to qualify for disability benefits, you must meet several criteria set by Social Security. You can then apply for benefits through the Department of Social Security.
- Work for some time
Adults who want to apply for Social Security must have previously worked in a job that provided Social Security coverage. Social Security is based on a credits system. As of 2015, workers earn one credit towards disability for every $1,220 of wages they bring in during a year, up to four credits. Whether or not a person qualifies for disability depends on how many credits they have relative to their age.
- File an application for Social Security
If you are unable to work due to a disability, you can apply for benefits through Social Security. Contact your local Social Security office to schedule an appointment with a councilor, or fill out the initial application online and send it to Disability Determination Services.
- Interview with a Social Security employee
After receiving your application, a Social Security representative will contact you by phone or in person to interview you about your condition and work history. The representative generally asks for additional information, so be prepared with your work and medical records at the time of the interview.