Social Security Disability benefits use very strict guidelines for qualification. You can expect to provide the Social Security Administration with a lot of paperwork and access to information about your health when applying for benefits. The SSA explains that SSDI is only meant for people who have a long-term disability. This means it must last at least one year or will cause your death. The SSA also requires that your disability be such that you cannot work because of it. 

SSDI is an earned benefit which means you have to have worked enough to earn the ability to get it. How long you must have worked depends on your age at the time of your disability and when your birthday is. The SSA calculates work time by quarters. You need to work at least six quarters at minimum. However, there are specific years you must have worked to meet eligibility, which varies for each situation. 

You must provide medical proof of your disability. You will need to submit medical records. You may also have to take additional medical tests or be seen by a different medical provider. Your doctors must also explain and show proof of why you cannot work due to your disability and explain how long the disability will last. 

The SSA’s requirements are not flexible. If you do not meet one criterion, you will not be eligible to get benefits even if you meet the other requirements. Do note that it takes an average time of three to five months to process SSDI applications, so you should apply as soon as possible.