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In order to qualify for Social Security Disability benefits (SSDI), you must have worked long enough and have paid enough taxes into the system to be “insured” for Disability Insurance Benefits. If you have not worked enough, or have not worked in a long time, you may not qualify for SSDI. A rule of thumb is that if you have not worked in the last five years, you may not qualify for Social Security Disability benefits (SSDI).

However, the Social Security Administration is responsible for several disability benefits programs. One program, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), pays benefits to individuals with little or no income and very few assets. Even if you have never worked, or have not worked in a long time, if you are disabled now and meet a financial means test, you may qualify for SSI. Children may also be eligible for SSI benefits.

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