Can You Be Eligible for Disability If You Never Worked?

by | Aug 22, 2023 | Uncategorized

Every person has a unique situation when considering applying for Social Security Disability benefits. If you have not worked during your life, you may be wondering, “can you get disability if you never worked?” We’re here to help answer this question.

If you never worked, you can be eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and survivors’ benefits. However, you cannot directly apply for Social Security Disability insurance (SSDI) because it is a work-based program.

Contact us now to find out if you qualify for Social Security Income!

Why You Can Be Eligible For SSI Benefits If You Never Worked

The SSI program is designed to help aged and disabled individuals with little or no income. SSI assists individuals with funds for basic needs like food, clothing, and shelter.

Although the Social Security Administration (SSA) manages the program, the United States Treasury general funds pay for SSI. Since SSI is funded by general tax revenues and not Social Security taxes, you can be eligible to receive benefits even if you never worked.

Although your work history does not determine your eligibility for SSI benefits, you still must meet basic qualifications:

  • 65 years or older
  • Blind
  • Disabled
  • Have a limited income and resources

Even if you never worked, the SSA will consider whether you have additional income from another government benefit program or access to assets that could count as resources.

These resources can only be worth $2,000 or less to qualify. If you are married, they would need to be worth $3,000 or less. Also, the amount of income you can generate each month for yourself and still quality for SSI depends partly on where you live.

Things You Need to Know About Survivors Benefits

Another option to receive disability benefits without having worked is survivors benefits. Survivors benefits are based on the amount the deceased was collecting from Social Security at the time of death and not your work history.

When a Social Security beneficiary who was receiving disability benefits dies, the money that they were receiving can potentially go to his or her dependents, including:

  • Spouse
  • Children
  • Elderly dependent parents
  • Ex-husbands and ex-wives

Generally, a widow or widower can apply for survivor benefits if he or she is at least 60 years and has been married to the deceased for at least nine months at the time of death.

However, you can claim survivor benefits at age 50 if disabled or if you take care of a child who is disabled or less than 16 years. Under these circumstances, the following individuals may be eligible:

  • Children under 18 years or disabled, or up to age 19 if they are a full-time student in high school.
  • Divorced spouses who have been married for 10 years or more and have not remarried before age 60, or 50 if they are disabled.
  • Parents age 62 or older who were financially dependent on a son or daughter for at least half of their support who died.

Answers About No SSDI Eligibility

Unlike SSI, you cannot claim SSDI if you have never worked because the program pays benefits from the Social Security taxes paid on your earnings. Your eligibility is based on disability and the wages that you reported each year to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

To qualify for SSDI, you must demonstrate that you have worked long enough and recently enough to be eligible for disability benefits. In addition, you could not be eligible for disability if you never worked because the SSA requests:

  • The amount of money earned the current year and the previous year.
  • The name and address of your employers for both the current and previous year.
  • List of the jobs you had in the 15 years before becoming disable and the dates you worked at those jobs.

Disability Apply Can Help With Your Disability Case

If you’re considering filing for disability and have more questions about whether you can get disability if you never worked, you should contact a disability representative for an evaluation.

At Disability Apply, our knowledgeable team can help you determine whether you are eligible for benefits and evaluate your case. We are ready to help walk through the SSI qualifications and review possible survivor benefits eligibility. Contact us today to get started or complete this form for a free evaluation.

Do You Qualify for Social Security Disability Benefits?

    1. Do you expect to be out of work for at least 12 months?

    2. Did you earn taxable income for 5 of the last 10 years?

    3. Are you currently receiving disability benefits?

    4. Have you seen a doctor within the last 12 months?

    5. Are you currently working with a disability advocate?

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