How Recently Must I Have Worked to Qualify for SSDI?
There are several criteria that must be satisfied for an individual to qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance, or SSDI. The two biggest requirements are to have a qualifying disability, and to have worked long enough under Social Security to have earned enough work credits.
Clients of our law office often have questions involving both provisions. At the office of Walton Law, LLC, we are here to guide you through the process of applying for SSDI benefits or appealing a denied claim. One element of an SSDI claim that we can help you to understand is regarding what work credits are, how many you need in order to start receiving benefits, and how recently you must have worked to qualify for SSDI. Let’s get started.
What Are Work Credits?
Work credits are called the “building blocks” by the Social Security Administration that are used to determine whether you qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance. The credits are earned when you work a job and pay into Social Security simultaneously. The maximum amount of credits that a person can earn per year is four, and the amount of money you must earn to receive a single credit changes on a year-to-year basis. For example, in 2017, the amount of money you needed to earn to get a single work credit was $1,300; in 2018, that amount has increased to $1,320.
How Many Credits Do You Need to Qualify for SSDI Insurance?
Each person needs to have earned a different number of credits to qualify for SSDI benefits depending upon the age at which they become disabled. For example, generally speaking a person will need 40 credits, although younger workers may sometimes be able to qualify for benefits with fewer earned work credits.
How Much Time Can Pass from When I Stop Earning Credits and Apply for SSDI Benefits?
One of the more confusing aspects of the work credits and SSDI qualification system is this: regardless of your age, you must have earned a certain number of work credits within a certain period, with that time ending when you became disabled. For example, above it was explained that generally, a person will need 40 work credits. In addition to needing 40 work credits, generally, 20 of those credits must have been earned in the last 10 years, with that time ending at the year that you became disabled. This means that if you are not disabled and currently have enough work credits to qualify for SSDI should you become disabled, you may not qualify in the future if you stop working. It also means that if you have not worked in the past 10 years, you may be unable to qualify, even if you earned well above the 40-credit requirement during your working years. The only exception for this is for blind workers.
Help Qualifying for Social Security Disability Benefits
What you need to do in order to qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits can be confusing – remember, in addition to having enough work credits – half of which must have been earned in the 10-year period leading up to your disability – you must also have a qualifying disability. The entire process can be time-consuming and frustrating, and at the end of the day, your claim may be denied if your application is not filled out correctly, or you do not provide proper forms of evidence.
One way to improve your chances of your SSDI claim being approved by the Social Security Administration the first time you file is to work with an experienced SSDI attorney who knows what the Social Security Administration is looking for, and who has been involved in successful claims in the past. An attorney can also help you appeal a denied claim if you have already attempted to apply for benefits.
Call Walton Law, LLC for Counsel Today
At the offices of Walton Law, LLC, our Alabama disability attorneys know that your need for benefits is great. We also know that you likely have a lot of questions about how to qualify for benefits and how to increase the chances of your claim being approved. For the competent answers you’re looking for, our talented attorneys are just a phone call away. Reach us at 251-455-5819 today, or visit us in person or send us a message using the contact form on our website.