Do I Qualify For Social Security Benefits?


Social Security is a crucial source of financial support for millions of citizens of the United States who are retired, disabled, or have lost the sole source of income in their family. The Social Security program is funded by contributions from all Americans through taxation and provides monetary assistance to struggling families in need. The Social Security

Administration (SSA) handles all disability benefits claims on a federal level. Social Security benefits come in various forms, and their criteria for eligibility differ accordingly. The eligibility requirements for different types of Social Security benefits can vary depending on multiple factors, including your work history, financial and employment circumstances, and more. Keep reading to find out the types of Social Security benefits and their eligibility criteria.

Types of Social Security Benefits

Retirement Benefits

Social Security Benefits

Retirement benefits are a form of Social Security benefits available to workers who have reached retirement age. Depending on the year you were born, this age might be 66 or 67 as of 2024. Qualifying for these benefits depends on having contributed Social Security taxes on your paychecks through at least a decade of employment, amounting to 40 work credits.

Disability Benefits

Disability benefits are available to workers who are unable to return to employment due to a physical or mental disability. To become eligible for disability benefits, you must have a severe impairment that lasts one year or results in death. Additionally, you must fulfill the requirement for work credits, which depend on your age and the total duration of your disability.

Survivor Benefits

These benefits are available to the surviving family members of the deceased worker, including spouses, children, or other dependent family members like parents. Like other Social Security benefits, you must have fulfilled the requirements for qualification, including work credits and age. These details are important to receive the right amount of compensation.

Spousal Benefits

These benefits are available to the spouse of a worker who might be eligible for Social Security benefits, including retirement or disability benefits. To claim these benefits, you must be aged 62 or over, and your spouse must be eligible to receive Social Security benefits. These benefits are put in place to help keep up with the cash flow and be able to provide basic needs for yourself.

Eligibility Requirements for Social Security Benefits

US Citizenship

Besides the specific eligibility criteria for the individual types of Social Security benefits, the general requirements for Social Security benefits include:

US Citizenship

To become eligible for Social Security benefits, you must be a citizen or a legal resident, having lived in the United States for at least half a decade. These requirements are put in place to make ensuring these benefits easier.

Employment History

Qualification for Social Security benefits requires a worker to have been employed in Social Security-covering jobs. Your employment history dictates your work credits, which, in turn, depend on your current age and the year of death, disability, or retirement from the workforce. Being on track within your job helps ensure you get the benefits that work best for your situation.


You must have made a specified amount of money in earnings to qualify for Social Security benefits. Your eligible earnings depend on your age and year of retirement, disability, or death. That way you are not getting too much or too little in your benefits. They will be enough to cover any missing costs and allow you to be covered for any basic needs.


It is crucial to understand the eligibility criteria for each disability benefit to apply for Social Security benefits. A careful review of Social Security requirements and proper documentation can significantly increase your chances of obtaining your desired benefits. A Social Security Disability Lawyer at Riddle & Brantley in North Carolina can help you obtain the benefits you deserve through a successful claim and expert legal assistance.