Have you been unable to work for a year or more due to an injury, illness, or a medical condition? You may qualify for Social Security disability benefits, but only if you have worked enough years in a job covered by Social Security. Learn about this “work credit” system to find out if you are eligible to collect these benefits.
First, Your Disability Must Be Approved
Before worrying about work credits, you will have to make sure your medical condition meets the definition of a disability according to the Social Security Administration (SSA). In general, the condition will have to be included on the SSA’s Listing of Impairments. If it is not, you will have to demonstrate that your condition is at least as severe as a condition that is listed. You will also have to prove that your condition will keep you from working for at least 12 months. If you believe you meet these criteria, you should then look at your work credits.
Understanding Work Credits
The Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program, often referred to simply as “disability,” is an entitlement program based on workers having paid into the system over a period of years. Your eligibility to collect disability benefits is based on the number of work credits you have earned. Requirements change from year to year, but you can earn a maximum of four work credits per year. In 2018, workers earn one credit for every $1,320 of earnings. The number of work credits you need depends on your age when you become disabled. For example, a 40-year-old would need 20 work credits, while a 62-year-old would need 40 credits. The number of years you worked and how recently you worked are also taken into consideration. In general, you must have worked for at least five of the 10 years immediately before you became disabled. Credits you earn remain on your SSA record even if you change jobs or are unemployed for a time. You can check your work credit balance on the Social Security Administration’s website.
Sound Complicated? Our Social Security Disability Attorneys Can Help
If this is a lot of information for you to process, we understand. Applying for disability can be overwhelming, particularly as you are coping with a debilitating illness or injury. Trust the Social Security attorneys at Keller & Keller to help you determine your eligibility and to help with your application. You have spent many years in the workforce and, now that you are unable to work, you deserve the benefits you have earned. Contact us through the form on this page to get started today.