Paper with weekly time sheet on a table.

Can I Get Disability Payments if I’ve Never Worked?

If you find yourself unable to work because of a disability, it can be hard to know how you’ll support yourself or your family. Almost everyone knows that disabilities that are caused in the workplace are covered by Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), but few people are sure if the SSDI program covers disabled people who have never worked.

After you’ve suffered a disability that has left you unable to support yourself, it’s important that you learn about your options for disability payments and if you’ll be covered by SSDI. Discover if you’re eligible for disability payments if you’ve never worked and how you can receive your disability benefits with legal help.

SSDI is Based on Employment

Unfortunately, if you’ve never worked, you will not be eligible to receive SSDI payments. The SSDI program is meant for people who are injured during the course of their work, and a number of payments a person receives is directly related to their work and income history.

When a person works, they earn quarters of coverage. Once they have earned 20 quarters or more in the past ten years, they are eligible to receive SSDI coverage if they are injured on the job and can no longer work. Without a work history, a person cannot earn coverage quarters and will not be able to receive SSDI payments.

SSI is an Alternative Disability Benefit

If you’ve never worked, you can still receive disability benefits in the form of Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Instead of being based on your work history like SSDI, SSI is based on your level of need. Generally, the extremely impoverished and disabled persons who have never worked can receive SSI.

SSI has the same medical requirements as SSDI, but this is the only similarity. Before you can be approved for SSI, the Social Security Administration (SSA) will examine your resources, which are your income and assets. A single person filing for SSI must have $2,000 or less in resources to be eligible. The resource threshold for couples is $3,000.

Your home and your highest value vehicle are exempt from this resource calculation. Resources that the SSA considers include your 401k, bank accounts, stock holdings and any land that you own.

Other Payment Options

Another option for receiving disability benefits is if you are the surviving spouse of someone who did, in fact, have a work history. If you’re departed spouse paid into the Social Security system throughout their career, then you will be able to receive Social Security survivor’s benefits in many cases. Even if you and your spouse divorced before they died, you still might be able to earn survivor’s benefits.

Applying for survivor’s benefits is a much different process than applying for SSDI or SSI, so it’s a good idea to consult with an attorney before you begin the application process.

Get Advice from an Attorney

If you’re disabled and can’t work, then receiving disability benefits is one of the best ways to support yourself. To get help with the process of applying and being approved for disability benefits, you need to work with the attorneys at The Law Offices of Dr. Bill LaTour.

Our legal team can walk you through the Social Security application process and can make sure you get your much-needed benefits. Schedule a consultation with us today.

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