Determining Your Work Credits for Social Security Disability

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Determining Your Work Credits for Social Security Disability

To be eligible for SSDI, you need to be insured under Social Security. Simply put, you must have worked a certain amount of hours over the years before filing to have contributed a specific amount to the Social Security system. These hours allow you to gain work credits through FICA taxes deducted from your paychecks.

The SSA will determine your eligibility for SSDI by converting your earnings into work credits. To earn one work credit, you must have earned at least $1,220 annually to gain a single work credit for the year. If you wish to earn the maximum of four credits, you need to make at least $4,880 annually. For those who work quarterly, you need not worry, as the work does not have to be done in any specific quarter of the work year.

Most people who are at least somewhat frequently employed will have gained the maximum amount of work credits each year. However, the question remains: how many years worked (and work credits gained), do you need to be eligible for disability?

Generally, the older you are, the more work credits you will require to be eligible. Two tests will be applied to your work credit history, the “recent work test,” and the “duration of work” test.”

Recent Work Test:

For those who are 31 or older, you must have worked a minimum of 5 of the past 10 years to pass the recent work test. When looking at how this applies to work credits, it means you will need an amount of 20 credits for the past 10 years worked.

Those between 24 and 31, on the other hand, must have worked at least half of the time since they turned 21. If you are under 24, you must have worked at least one year in the three-year period before you apply for disability (or 6 work credits).

If you are blind, there may be exceptions extended to you regarding work credits and SSDI benefits. Be sure to consult your disability attorney if you suspect you may fall under similar criteria that will help to exempt you.

Duration Work Test

Consult the following graph to determine the number of years worked (and work credits gained) you need to pass the duration of work test:

Became Disabled at Age Number of Credits Needed Number of Years of Work
21 through 24 6 1.5
24 through 31 6 to 18 1.5 to 4.5
31 through 42 20 5
44 22 5.5
46 24 6
48 26 6.5
50 28 7
52 30 7.5
54 32 8
56 34 8.5
58 36 9
60 38 9.5
62 or older 40 10

When filling out your SSDI application, it is essential you understand your work credit eligibility beforehand. For help, go no further than the talented team at London Disability. We are dedicated to helping you gain the valuable benefits you need to lead a comfortable life. Please contact us at your convenience to set up a free consultation.

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