Social Security Disability Insurance GeneralGuidelinesTo qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), you must have worked and paid intothe program (mandatory payroll taxes) for five of the last 10 years.You must also have been disabled before reaching full-retirement age (65-67), and you mustmeet Social Securitys definition of disability. The Social Security Administration (SSA) uses aprocess called sequential evaluation to determine who receives benefits.Here is an explanation of Social Securitys five-step process to determine if an individualqualifies for SSDI benefits:1. Determine if an individual is "working (engaging in substantial gainful activity)" according tothe SSA definition. Earning more than $1,010 a month as an employee is enough to bedisqualified from receiving Social Security disability benefits.2. Conclude the disability must be severe enough to significantly limit ones ability to performbasic work activities needed to do most jobs. For example: Walking, standing, sitting, lifting, pushing, pulling, reaching, carrying or handling Seeing, hearing and speaking Understanding/carrying out and remembering simple instructions Responding appropriately to supervision, co-workers and usual work situations Dealing with changes in a routine work setting3. Ask if the disability meets or equals a medical listing.4. Explore the ability of an individual to perform work he has done in the past despite hisdisability. If the SSA finds that a person can do his past work, benefits are denied. If the personcannot, then the process proceeds to the fifth and final step.5. Review age, education, work experience and physical/mental condition to determine whatother work, if any, the person can perform. To determine disability, the SSA enlists medical-vocational rules, which vary according to age.Want to find out if you qualify? Request a no-cost, no obligation disability evaluation todetermine your eligibility for Social Security disability.