Non-Medical Requirements for Disability Benefits: A Guide

Christian Worstell
In this article...
  • Discover non-medical requirements for disability benefits, such as financial eligibility, work history, education and required documentation. Get the info you need and learn more about how to apply for disability benefits.
Doctor Working With Patient

Navigating the social security disability benefits process can be overwhelming, especially when it comes to understanding the non-medical requirements.

In this guide, we provide an in-depth look into what you need to know about non-medical disability requirements and how they impact your eligibility for benefits.

Table of Contents:


Understanding Non-Medical Requirements for Disability

To be eligible for SSDI or SSI, applicants must meet certain financial qualifications such as having earned enough credits through Social Security-covered employment.

  • For Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), applicants need to have worked long enough at jobs covered by Social Security taxes in order to accumulate enough credits over the years.

    The amount of credits needed to be eligible for SSDI differs depending on age. Those who are younger need fewer than those that are older.

  • For Supplemental Security Income (SSI), applicants’ income and assets cannot exceed a certain level in order to qualify. These limits vary from state-to-state but generally include items such as wages earned, investments held, real estate owned, etc.

For those applying for SSI due to having a low income or limited resources, no work history is required just evidence that their current financial situation falls below the established eligibility threshold in each state.

No educational qualifications are necessary for someone with a disability who satisfies all other prerequisites - including medical eligibility - to get benefits through either program.

There may be some exceptions when it comes to accessing vocational rehabilitation services which could aid those with disabilities in finding job opportunities more easily than if they were without assistance from these programs.

Financial Eligibility for Disability Benefits

To be eligible for SSDI in 2023, your income must be below $1,470 per month if you aren't blind ($2,460 if you are blind).

For Supplemental Security Income (SSI), the income thresholds differ by state but usually range between $771 - $1,070 monthly based on living arrangements and household size. Consequently, it is imperative for individuals seeking disability benefits to be cognizant of their income limits in order to determine eligibility.

SSDI does not generally impose a cap on resources, as opposed to SSI which has an upper boundary of about two or three thousand dollars based on the state. However, these amounts can change so it is important to check with your local Social Security office before applying for either program just in case new regulations were recently put into place that could affect your eligibility criteria.

Work History Requirements for Disability Benefits

To be eligible for disability benefits, applicants must demonstrate that their impairment prevents them from engaging in substantial gainful activity by providing evidence of past employment. Applicants should provide proof of past employment by submitting pay stubs, W-2 forms, or other documents that demonstrate the applicant’s prior earnings and job duties.

Applicants may also have to provide evidence for any absences in their job experience due to health problems, military duty, family time off, educational pursuits and the like. It is important for applicants who have had breaks in their employment histories over 12 months long within 10 years before filing for disability benefits to explain why they were not working during this period.

In addition, applicants should provide evidence that shows how long they worked at each job prior to becoming disabled as well as what type of jobs they held (i.e., full-time versus part-time). The SSA will examine the supplied data, along with any medical records and other documentation given by the applicant, to decide if they are eligible for disability benefits.

Education Requirements for Disability Benefits

Education requirements for disability benefits vary depending on the program. In general, applicants must provide proof of educational attainment and/or demonstrate knowledge or skills necessary to perform job duties. SSDI necessitates that claimants have a certain number of work credits to be eligible. Other programs may necessitate applicants to have specific credentials, for instance a high school diploma or GED certificate, college degree, vocational training qualification or other pertinent qualifications.

Applicants must provide documentation proving their education level when applying for disability benefits. Acceptable forms of evidence for disability benefits include transcripts from accredited schools, diplomas, certificates, letters from employers verifying job history and duties done, plus documents issued by government entities such as the VA. It is essential to bear in mind that certain programs may necessitate supplementary evidence beyond the aforementioned.

Documentation Requirements for Disability Benefits

It is essential to be aware of the paperwork demands when filing for disability benefits. Depending on the type of benefit, different documents may be necessary for submission. For SSDI and SSI, medical documents along with non-medical data (e.g., financial details or marital status) must be presented to secure benefits.

For SSDI, applicants must provide medical evidence that demonstrates a medically disabling condition which has lasted at least 12 months or is expected to last 12 months or result in death. This can include doctor's reports, hospital records, lab results and other test results that support your claim. In addition to this medical evidence, applicants must also prove their work history over the past 10 years by providing pay stubs and tax returns if applicable.

In order to qualify for SSI, evidence of restricted income and assets such as bank records and investments owned by the applicant or family members in their household must be presented. Additionally, medical evidence is still necessary to demonstrate an impairment that significantly impacts daily activities and interferes with basic job functions, including walking up stairs or standing for long periods due to pain from a mental health condition like depression or anxiety disorder. Furthermore, Social Security takes marital status into consideration when determining eligibility for SSI benefits; therefore marriage certificates should be included in application materials if applicable.


What is non medical requirements for disability benefits Social Security?

To qualify for disability benefits through Social Security, applicants must meet certain eligibility criteria, including age and employment history requirements as well as having a condition that prevents them from engaging in any SGA and is expected to last at least 12 months or result in death. These include being at least 18 years of age and having worked long enough and recently enough under Social Security in order to be insured for disability benefits.

Applicants must possess a disability which renders them unable to partake in any SGA and is expected to persist for at least 12 months or be fatal. Lastly, an individual's income and resources cannot exceed specific limits set by law.

What is a non medical review by SSI disability?

The SSA conducts a non-medical review of an individual's eligibility for SSI, verifying identity, assessing resources and income, reviewing medical evidence to assess any disabilities that may qualify them for benefits, evaluating work activity and considering other factors such as age or blindness.

This review includes verifying the applicant’s identity, determining their resources and income, reviewing medical evidence to assess any disabilities that may qualify them for benefits, and evaluating work activity. The SSA will also consider other factors such as age or blindness when making its determination.

Is disability only related to a medical condition?

No, disability is not only related to a medical condition. Disability can also refer to physical or mental impairments that limit one's ability to perform certain activities and tasks. Moreover, various disabilities exist that are not necessarily medically-related, such as learning disabilities, developmental delays and cognitive impairments.


The key to determining if you are eligible for disability benefits is understanding the non-medical requirements. Knowing your financial eligibility, work history, education and documentation needs can help you determine if you qualify. To be eligible for disability benefits, an individual must satisfy the non-medical criteria set forth by the government or other sources. 

Christian Worstell
About the Author

Christian Worstell is a senior Medicare and health insurance writer with He is also a licensed health insurance agent. Christian is well-known in the insurance industry for the thousands of educational articles he’s written, helping Americans better understand their health insurance and Medicare coverage.

Christian’s work as a Medicare expert has appeared in several top-tier and trade news outlets including Forbes, MarketWatch, WebMD and Yahoo! Finance.

While at HelpAdvisor, Christian has written hundreds of articles that teach Medicare beneficiaries the best practices for navigating Medicare. His articles are read by thousands of older Americans each month. By better understanding their health care coverage, readers may hopefully learn how to limit their out-of-pocket Medicare spending and access quality medical care.

Christian’s passion for his role stems from his desire to make a difference in the senior community. He strongly believes that the more beneficiaries know about their Medicare coverage, the better their overall health and wellness is as a result.

A current resident of Raleigh, Christian is a graduate of Shippensburg University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. You can find Christian’s most recent articles in our blog.

If you’re a member of the media looking to connect with Christian, please don’t hesitate to email our public relations team at

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