If you know someone who received Social Security disability benefits, you may have heard them talk about “work credits.” However, knowing the term and understanding how it works are two very different things. We’re going to look at five fast facts about Social Security work credits in this article. The information you read will help if you need to file for benefits in the future.
#1. You need work credits to get SSDI.
SSDI stands for Social Security Disability Insurance. Someone who is unable to work because of a disabling condition might qualify for SSDI benefits. However, they will have to meet specific criteria. Some qualifications are based on their physical condition and are backed up by medical evidence.
Applicants must also have earned the right number of Social Security credits. The Social Security Administration bases eligibility on a sliding scale based on your age. For example, anyone age 31 or older usually needs at least 20 credits – earned in the ten years before becoming disabled. However, a 21-year old will qualify for SSDI if they have six credits in the three years before their disability began.
But are your Social Security work credits calculated?
#2. Credits are based on your income.
Social Security assesses your work credits based on how much you earned. Even self-employed and retired people can accumulate Social Security work credits. The rules are complicated, so you might want to speak with an accountant or tax advisor about your taxes and work credits.
#3. You can earn up to four credits per year.
A worker who makes $25,000 per year earns the same number of work credits as someone with an annual salary of $125,000. That’s because Social Security regulations allow you to earn only up to four credits every year. Again, this is based on your income.
#4. The amount per work credit for 2021 is $1,470.
Every year, Social Security adjusts the amount of money you have to earn for each work credit. Typically, the amount needed goes up each year based on things like prices and average incomes.
#5. You do NOT need work credits to qualify for SSI.
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and SSDI are not the same programs, even though they are both managed by the Social Security Administration. SSI benefits are not based on your work history, but SSDI is. Also, SSI is a needs-based benefit, while SSDI benefits are not.
Ask a Disability Lawyer About Social Security Work Credits
Social Security Administration rules and regulations are not easy to understand. It can help to have someone on your side. The attorneys at The Law Offices of Martin Taller have more than 50 years’ experience helping clients like you. For a free consultation, call us at 714-385-8100. Though our office is located in Anaheim, we assist clients throughout Southern California.