Over 10 million people receive Social Security disability benefits. While California residents may be concerned primarily with how much they may receive in Social Security retirement benefits, they should also prepare for the unexpected and learn how to calculate the amount they would receive if they became disabled.

In order receive benefits from Social Security, people need to pass certain work tests that require them to have been employed at a position in which they paid into Social Security through their payroll taxes. The recentness that a person worked is an important factor. Individuals who are younger than 24 years of age need to have worked at least one and a half years within the last three years while people between the ages of 24 and 30 need to have been employed for at least half of the period of time since they turned 21. Individuals who are 31 years old and older are required to have worked for at least five out of the previous 10 years.

Individuals who want to receive Social Security disability benefits also need to have worked a sufficient amount throughout their careers. People who are no older than 42 years of age will have met the total work requirement if they meet the recent work requirement. The requirement for individuals who are older than 42 years of age increases by half of a year every two years until it peaks at 9.5 years for people who are 60 years of age or older.

Attorneys who practice Social Security disability law may assist their disabled clients by explaining their options and helping them apply for SDD benefits. A lawyer may advocate for his or her client at a hearing if the initial application has been denied. An attorney can help a person obtain the documentation necessary to verify his or her disability.