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American Diabetes Association answeredTo qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits, you must first have worked in jobs covered by Social Security. You must also have a medical condition that meets the Social Security Administration's (SSA) definition of disability. In addition to meeting the definition of disability established by SSA, you must have worked long enough -- and recently enough -- under Social Security to qualify for disability benefits. Social Security work credits are based on your total yearly wages or self-employment income. You can earn up to four credits each year.