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Work Credits and Disability Benefits

disability checkOne of the several qualifications the Social Security Administration (SSA) uses to decide if an applicant can receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is the number of work credits he or she has.

Work credits are a conversion of the amount an applicant has worked throughout his or her life and determine if he or she qualifies to receive SSDI benefits based on the number of credits earned.

How to Earn Credits

Work credits are earned as you pay Social Security taxes throughout the history of your employment.

You have the opportunity to earn up to four work credits each year. Once enough credits have been earned, you can qualify for SSDI.

In 2016, one work credit equated to $1,260. In order to receive the maximum of four credits, you must have earned $5,040 throughout the year.

While you are able to earn more than the necessary amount of credits needed for SSDI benefits throughout your lifetime, these extra earnings will not increase the value of the benefits you receive.

The required number of benefits an applicant needs depends on the year he or she was born. Applicants born in 1929 or later will need 40 credits, which equates to 10 years of work. Those born before 1929 require less than 40 credits to qualify for SSDI benefits.

However, it may be possible for younger applicants to qualify for benefits with less work credits:

Younger than 24 Years Old

Applicants may qualify for SSDI benefits if they earned six credits within the three years before their disability first appeared.

Between 24 and 31 Years Old

Applicants may qualify for SSDI benefits if they have accumulated enough credit for working 50 percent of the time from age 21 to when they first became disabled.

31 Years of Age or Older

Applicants must have earned at least 20 credits within the 10 years prior to the age in which they first became disabled. The applicant must then earn additional credits each year, as detailed in the SSA’s Benefits Planner.

At Schmidt Kramer, our team of experienced Social Security Disability lawyers in Harrisburg can assist you in receiving the disability benefits you deserve. Although the application process may be intimidating, our attorneys will walk you through the process, ensuring you have the necessary documentation.

Call (717) 888-8888 today for your free, no obligation consultation.