I have not worked in many years. Can I qualify for Social Security disability benefits?

There are earnings requirements that must be met in order for someone to qualify for Social Security disability benefits.  If you are 31 or older, you have to work five years out of the ten-year period ending with the quarter before your disability began.  If you become disabled under the age of 31, different rules apply.  

Furthermore, to be eligible for benefits, you must have worked a total of 1.5-to-9.5 years during your lifetime.  The amount that you need to have worked under the “duration of work” test increases with age.