Qualifying for Social Security disability (SSD) benefits should be a straightforward process, however, unfortunately, there are commonly many twists in turns in the process before the disabled individual is able to obtain benefits. Because most applications for Social Security disability benefits are initially denied, it is helpful to be familiar with how to qualify for benefits and the process of applying.

Social Security disability benefits are based on medical need, or disability, and work history, or work history credits. Disabled individuals must prove they suffer from a medical condition that prevents them from being able to work, or engage in substantially gainful activity, to qualify to receive Social Security disability benefits. The Social Security Administration maintains a list of disabling medical conditions but disabled individuals may also be able to demonstrate that they suffer from a medical condition not on the list that prevents them from working.

Additionally, the medical condition must last for 12 months or longer, or be expected to be fatal, to qualify for benefits. It is important for applicants for Social Security disability benefits to be able to supply detailed and organized medical records substantiating the medical condition they suffer from. The other component to qualify for SSD benefits, work history, is based on work history credits so it is also useful to know the number of credits needed which can vary by year.

Applications for Social Security disability benefits of oftentimes initially denied which is why disabled individuals should present the strongest application possible and also be familiar with their appeals rights. They should also not be discouraged from pursuing the badly-needed benefits.