What Are Social Security Disability Work Credits?

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In order to receive Social Security Disability benefits (SSD) there are a number of factors that must be met, including having a disability that is expected to last for at least a year, as well as providing sufficient medical evidence and a solid work history.

Social Security Disability is funded through FICA taxes that employees pay, which is why work history is an important factor in determining eligibility for SSD benefits. Typically, workers earn up to four work credits each year based on their earnings.

The Social Security Administration reviews an applicant’s work credits to determine if he or she has the minimum amount to qualify for benefits.

How Are Work Credits Determined?

The Social Security Administration has created a system for determining the minimum work credits needed, based on a worker’s age. In addition to age, in order to meet the requirements, you must also have earned the credits in a certain number of years before you became disabled.

How Do You Know How Many Credits You Need?

The rules regarding work credits differ when you are younger, but generally, you need to earn a total of 40 work credits. 20 of the credits must be earned within the last 10 years, ending in the year you became disabled.

For example, if you became disabled between 21 and 24-years-old, you must have earned at least 6 work credits within the three years before you became disabled.

If you are between 24 and 31-years-old, there is a formula you can follow to help determine the work credits needed. You must take your age and subtract 21 from it, and divide this number in half to determine how many years of credits you need.

If you are 27, you will need 3 years of work credits, which amounts to a total of 12 work credits (since 4 credits are typically earned in a year.) These work credits must be earned within 6 years, the years between 21 and 27-years-old.

How a Skilled SSD Lawyer Can Help

Determining work credits can be confusing, and you should contact an experienced SSD lawyer to help answer all of your questions about work credits and the entire SSD application process. A skilled disability lawyer can help you with the application from the beginning, reducing errors and improving the chances your application will be approved.

What If You Don’t Have a Sufficient Work History, But You Are Disabled?

The SSA offers Supplemental Security Income (SSI) to children and adults who are disabled or blind or to those ages 65-years or older who have limited financial resources. To be eligible, applicants must meet income and asset requirements and have medical records to prove disability. To learn more, please check out our SSD vs. SSI infographic.

Need Social Security Disability Benefits? We Can Help.

If you are disabled and unable to work, call Disability Attorneys of Michigan for a free confidential consultation. We’ll let you know if we can help you get a monthly check and help you determine if any money or assets you receive could impact your eligibility for disability benefits.

Disability Attorneys of Michigan works hard every day helping the disabled of Michigan seek the Social Security Disability benefits they need. If you are unable to work due to a physical, mental or cognitive impairment, call Disability Attorneys of Michigan now for a free consultation at 800-949- 2900.

Let Michigan’s experienced disability law firm help you get the benefits you deserve.

Disability Attorneys of Michigan, Compassionate Excellence.

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I will never forget you and the hard work you did to secure my Social Security Disability benefits. Thank you!

- Christine C.