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What Are the Eligibility Criteria for Disability Benefits?

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What Are the Eligibility Criteria for Disability Benefits?

What Are the Eligibility Criteria for Disability Benefits?

Not everyone with a disability can qualify for disability benefits. Finding out the requirements for disability benefits can save you a lot of time and effort. Knowing the basic eligibility criteria can also help you prepare better for your disability benefits application. You do not have to go through the tedious application process alone. Consider hiring a Wilmington disability attorney who can make this easier.


People with severe long-term disabilities are those who are most likely to qualify for disability benefits. This is because the disability benefits eligibility criteria are strict. Not everyone can qualify for benefits even if they have a diagnosed disability.

Knowing what the Social Security Administration (SSA) means by a qualifying disability is the first step. The SSA accepts mental or physical disabilities as long as the disability:

  • Is expected to last at least a year or lead to a premature deathWhat Are the Eligibility Criteria for Disability Benefits?
  • The disability prevents the person from performing substantial gainful activity
  • The person is unable to perform prior work tasks due to the limitations caused by the disability

Different outcomes can happen depending on your specific limitations. For example, those who cannot perform substantial gainful activity will have their disability application reviewed by Disability Determination Services (DDS). The DDS will examine whether the disability is severe, meaning the disability limits physical abilities like lifting objects, walking, or remembering things.

When a person is able to perform a substantial gainful activity and monthly earnings are $1,350 or more, disability benefits are not offered. People who can still work and earn enough income a month are usually ineligible for disability benefits. However, they can still apply for disability benefits through private disability insurance companies.

Those who can perform work at prior jobs or new jobs may also be ineligible for benefits. The same goes for people who are able to adapt to their current job or a different job.


The most important next step in filing a disability benefits application is medical evidence. Not proving enough disability benefits evidence is the most common reason applications are denied. This can also slow down the claims process.

Medical evidence like lab test results, diagnoses, prognoses, and doctor’s notes are all vital for your application. Leaving even one medical record out could hurt your disability claim. The goal is to prove the existence, severity, and impairments of the disability. Doctor’s notes and evaluations can help prove how the disability limits certain work skills and overall work performance.

If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact a Wilmington disability lawyer for help. An experienced lawyer can help strengthen your disability claim and make sure you have all the required information.


Finding out your disability benefits application was rejected can be disheartening. Discussing your situation with an experienced Delaware disability lawyer can be helpful. Start by calling Edelstein Martin & Nelson today at (302) 295-5050 for a free consultation about your disability. Our team of attorneys might be able to increase your chances of receiving disability benefits.

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