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Do You Have Enough Work Credits for SSD Benefits?

Social Security disability benefits provide income for workers who cannot return to work because of a disability. Before you can receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits, you must submit evidence proving that you meet the requirements for being considered disabled. Additionally, you must have enough work credits to qualify for SSDI disability benefits. Our Texas disability attorney answers common questions about work credits for SSDI benefits.

What Are Work Credits?

When you work at a job covered by Social Security, you earn work credits by contributing funds to the Social Security system. Your contributions to the Social Security system are made by paying Social Security taxes. Work credits are based on the amount of income earned during the year. For example, you could earn enough income in one quarter of the year to earn all four credits, or it could take all year to earn four work credits. The amount of your income determines the number of work credits earned. 

The amount necessary to earn a work credit changes each year. In 2021, you earn one work credit for every $1,470 you earn in income. Therefore, you must earn $5,880 in income for 2021 to earn all four work credits. In 2022, the amount of income necessary to earn a work credit increases to $1,510.

How Many Work Credits Do I Need to Qualify for SSDI?

Your age at the time of disability determines how many work credits you must have to receive Social Security disability benefits. Typically, a person must have at least 40 work credits to receive SSDI benefits if they were born after 1928. Furthermore, the person must have earned at least 20 work credits during the past ten years before becoming disabled. 

Younger workers could qualify for SS disability benefits with fewer than 40 work credits. If a person is under the age of 24 years, the person could qualify for SSDI benefits with six work credits earned during the three years before becoming disabled. 

Individuals between the ages of 24 and 31 years need work credits for at least one-half of the time between age 21 and the age they became disabled. Finally, people 31 years and older must have at least 20 credits during the ten years immediately before becoming disabled. 

Do I Need Work Credits for SSI Benefits?

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is disability income for low-income individuals. Work credits are not applicable in SSI cases. Instead, a person only needs to establish that they are disabled and meet the qualifications regarding income and resources to be eligible to receive SSI benefits. Typically, the Social Security Administration verifies whether you have enough work credits to qualify for SSDI benefits before proceeding with a disability application under SSI.

Schedule a Free Consultation With Our Texas Disability Attorney

Navigating the Social Security disability claims process can be frustrating and confusing. Having someone on your side who understands the process can help you avoid problems that could delay your disability benefits or result in a denial of SSDI benefits. Contact our office to schedule a free consultation with a Texas disability attorney to discuss your case.