The importance of work credits for SSDI benefits eligibility

On Behalf of | Jan 12, 2024 | SSDI

When it comes to being eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), understanding the role of “work credits” is important. These work credits come from your yearly job wages or self-employed income. The credits serve as a measure of your contribution to the Social Security system over time. When you know the role this plays in determining your eligibility for SSDI, you can avoid disqualification from receiving benefits.

If a disabling incident prevents you from working, you’ll need this support.

Criteria for you to qualify

In a single year, you can earn up to four work credits, one credit per quarter of working. For example, in 2024, you gain one credit for each $1,730 earned. Once your earnings hit $6,920, you will then have four credits for the year. However, earning work credits isn’t the sole requirement for SSDI. The number of credits you need also depends on your age when you become disabled. Generally, you need 40 credits, and half of those should be from the last 10 years before your disability. Younger individuals, however, might qualify with fewer credits.

For example, if you earned four work credits annually from 2012 to 2017 and then stopped working, you’d be “insured” for SSDI for the next five years. This makes the year 2022 your “date last insured.” To qualify for SSDI benefits, you must prove that your disability started before 2022.

Consider all factors to seek the benefits you need

In essence, while work credits are essential in the SSDI benefits equation, they’re not the only consideration. Your age at the onset of disability and the severity of your disability are equally important. So, it’s important to consider seeking the help of an attorney experienced in SSDI claims to assist you with your claim.