If the Social Security Administration determines that you have impairments that prevent you from working and those impairments are expected to last at least 12 months, you may be eligible for disability benefits. People who have worked and met certain earnings requirements for the required “quarters” are determined to be “insured” through a certain date for Social Security disability purposes. If you are determined to have become disabled before your last insured date, you are eligible for disability benefits.
If you are disabled, but have not worked or earned enough to be “insured,” depending on your household income, you may be eligible for SSI benefits. Your local Social Security office can tell you if you have worked enough to be eligible for disability benefits and can tell you your last insured date. If you believe you are disabled, don’t hesitate to apply for benefits. Because of certain restrictions on back-owed benefits, you may miss out on benefits if you wait to apply.