If you are applying for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) through the Social Security Administration (SSA), chances are that you have heard the term “work credits” before. This is because applying for SSDI benefits requires meeting two primary criteria: having a verifiable disability that prevents you from working and amassing sufficient work credits. But what are work credits, and how do you obtain enough to qualify for SSDI?
A work credit refers to a way of counting the amount of paid work an individual does within a given period. In accordance with current guidelines, they gain one work credit when they earn $1,410 from wages or self-employment income in a single fiscal quarter, with a maximum of four work credits for earning $5,640 in a single year. They do not need to earn all the money to earn a work credit in a single quarter, but instead may earn it over the course of a year. Thus, if you were to not work for 11 months in a year, and then earned $6,000 in a single month, you would still earn all four credits for that year.
The exact number of credits you need to qualify for SSDI is dependent on your age. If you are 31 or older, you need to earn 40 work credits to qualify for SSDI, 20 of which must have been earned in the ten years prior to claiming disability. However, younger workers can qualify for SSDI with fewer work credits: those between 24 and 30 can qualify with half the credits they would have earned for working between 21 and the time they claim disability, while those 24 and younger can qualify with only six work credits. If you meet these qualifications, you are on your way to potentially qualifying for SSDI benefits.
If you or a loved one need assistance applying for SSDI or SSI benefits, it is important that you seek the guidance of an experienced Social Security Disability benefits lawyer. The lawyers at Sullivan & Kehoe, LLP have over 50 years of combined experience between its attorneys and are available to you or your loved one in obtaining Social Security Disability or Supplemental Security Income benefits. To schedule a consultation with our New York Social Security Disability benefits lawyers, call (631) 823-7155.