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What is the 5-year rule for Social Security? What do I need to know so I don’t violate the requirements?

In order to claim Social Security disability benefits those applying should be aware of the requirements imposed by the SSA like the five-year rule.

The 5-year rule for Social Security

Over 71 million Americans receive monthly payments from the Social Security Administration (SSA). The agency, established in 1935, administers several common benefit programs, two of which are Social Security and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). For those who at some point claimed SSDI, there are certain rules that they may be subject to when they begin receiving their Social Security benefits.

What is the five-year rule?

For workers who have paid into Social Security but become disabled before reaching their full retirement age, a claim with the SSA to receive SSDI can be filed. However, certain eligibility requirements must be met, and two-thirds of applicants see their claims rejected.

To be eligible for SSDI benefits, an individual must satisfy the medical criteria for being disabled, which means having a condition that is expected to last for a minimum of one year or result in death. This requirement is the same for the SSI program. Additionally, the applicant must have worked for a sufficient period and paid enough Social Security taxes, or the person contributing on behalf of the family member seeking assistance must meet these requirements.

The five-year applies to those who are older than thirty-one and requires that they have worked at least five of the ten years before they developed their disability. Those who qualify and are unable to work again will receive their SSDI payment as their Social Security check upon reaching their full retirement age.

How much does the average SSDI beneficiary receive?

In July 2023, almost 8.7 million people were receiving SSDI benefits, the majority of which nearly 7.5 million, were disabled workers. The remaining recipients were spouses and children of disabled workers. The average benefits for a disabled worker were $1,487 — over $350 lower than the average benefit for retired workers receiving Social Secuirty. The average benefit for spouses and children of disabled workers does not reach $500, in part because the SSA assumes that those individuals have other sources of income.