Can I Qualify For Social Security Disability If I Was Paid Under The Table?

Being paid under the table can adversely affect your chances of qualifying for Social Security disability benefits.


To become eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) the Social Security Administration (SSA) requires that you have enough work credits accumulated as an indication that you paid into Social Security via taxes. However, if you were paid under the table, then you would not have paid taxes with your work checks, which means you or your employer have made no contribution to the Social Security disability fund through your job pay. As a result, you won’t have enough job credits accumulated to qualify for SSDI benefits.

What If I Was Only Paid Partially Off the Books?

It’s likely that you will still have troubles when attempting to become eligible for SSDI because your average monthly earnings need to meet a certain minimum before you can earn a job credit. The amount you receive each month from Social Security is dependent on your average monthly earnings for the duration of your entire working career. If you were getting paid money under the table then your monthly earnings would be decreased, which would subsequently reduce your monthly benefit amount.


Supplemental Security Income (SSI) differs from SSDI when it comes to eligibility because SSI is not dependent on you having a work history and sufficient job credits whereas SSDI is. SSI is a Social Security program that provides benefits to those who do not sum enough monthly income to sustain themselves or their families, this includes insufficient income and/or possessions. So while it is unlikely that you’ll qualify for SSDI since you may not have acquired enough job credits, you still have a chance to qualify for SSI depending on your financial situation.

Additional Information

These two Social Security programs share the same requirement that you need to provide sufficient evidence that you have a medical condition that prevents you from working and is recognized by the SSA. These two programs contain financial maximums on how much income you can earn while receiving benefits. Eligibility for SSDI is primarily dependent on your earned work income. However, SSI considers your income from all tangible sources in addition to any financial assets to determine if you qualify for the financial-need program.