To qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits, you must have worked and paid Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) premiums while you were working. In most cases, if you have worked for an employer in the United States you have made FICA contributions (as has your employer). If you have worked for a State or Federal Employer, you may not qualify for benefits.

Regarding past work and FICA contributions, most workers will need to have worked for at least five of the past ten years in order to be insured under the SSDI benefits. The exact requirements vary depending on your age, with younger and older workers having less stringent requirements than workers in their 30s and 40s.

Note: You have five years from the date you were last employed to seek a claim for disability under Title II. Although there are exceptions to this rule.


Supplemental Security Income disability is a need-based program aimed at assisting;

(A) Individuals who have not worked,

(B) Individuals who have not been able to work enough to be insured under Title II for Social Security disability

(C) Individuals who may have worked enough to be entitled to a small Social Security benefit that does not exceed the current disability benefit payable under the SSI disability program. SSI amounts for 2019 – the monthly maximum Federal amounts for 2019 are $771 for an eligible individual, $1,157 for an eligible individual with an eligible spouse, and $386 for an essential person.

There are income requirements in order to be eligible for these benefits.

In general, the income limit for SSI is the Federal Benefit Rate (FBR), which is $735 per month for an individual and $1,103 per month for a couple in 2017.

Remember, though, that not all income is countable, and so you can earn more than $735 per month and still qualify for SSI. Your local Social Security Office may assist you in determine your eligibility for benefits. https://secure.ssa.gov/ICON/main.jsp.