If you have a disability that prevents you from working and you don’t have a work history, or a limited work history, it can make it harder to receive benefits.
It’s a bit of a paradox, isn’t it? You can’t get a job because of your disability, but you can’t get disability benefits because you’ve never had a job. How does one manage to break this cycle?
It’s difficult, but it is possible. They will look at your situation, and the rules change depending on you. For example, if you’re a young adult or an older person, you may have a better chance than someone at the prime working age of 30s-40s. Someone young may not have a strong work history, so it’s understandable if they’re limited. Someone older may be too old to have new work, so the disability benefits may be easier to accept.
One of the requirements is that you’ve worked a quarter every year for 10 years, but this will depend on your age.
What does a quarter mean? You may think it means three months, but you can work a quarter in less time. It all depends on how much money you have made. When applying for SSDI, talk to an attorney, or another professional, and see if you qualify. The amount you need in order for it to count as a quarter does depend, but most people have made that much.
What if you still haven’t made the quarter?
Even if you have not, it is still possible to get benefits. Report your earnings honestly, and show your disability. If your disability is severe enough, you may be able to still get your benefits.
However, it still can be tricky getting your money if you have a limited work history. One reason why they may deny you is that they speculate about a job you can do. For example, if you can’t walk, they may claim you can work from home at a computer. It can be frustrating being denied because of this theoretical scenario, but sometimes, they have to throw everything they can at you because that’s their job. They have to find different scenarios to deny you.
You may get denied, but it’s not over yet. You can appeal and look into an attorney.
A disability lawyer can help you make your case and teach you how to get around the barrier of not having a work history. The good thing about disability lawyers is that they only get paid if you win, and they take a cut of your earnings. Therefore, you have nothing to lose. It’s a good way to win if you’re unsure you’re able to, and if you have certain roadblocks like a poor work history, it may be essential.
It can be quite frustrating having a poor work history and trying to get your benefits, but by being upfront, showing your disability, and possibly hiring an attorney, you can get past this roadblock.