After Jack stopped working because of a disability, he looked for ways to support his family. They needed financial help, and they needed it as quickly as possible. As he explored their options, he found Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits and applied. He was told he did not have enough ‘work credit’ to qualify. Jack’s friend, Lou, told him about another financial benefit – Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Would Jack need work credits for SSI benefits? To know the answer to that question we need to know more about work credits and qualifying for SSI.
Basic Info About Work Credits
First of all, you may be wondering what they are! Unless you have applied for SSDI, you may never have heard of work credits. Work credits are based on your wages or self-employment income. In 2018, you earned a work credit for every $1,320 of income that you earned. No matter how much you make, however, you can only earn four credits per year.
To receive SSDI disability benefits, you must have earned a certain number of work credits based, in part, on your age. For example, at age 45, Jack needed 23 work credits.
But what about that related benefit – Supplemental Security Income? Does your work history matter when you apply for SSI?
Applying for SSI
The basic requirements for someone who applies for SSI benefits are:
- They must be age 65 or older;
- They must be blind or disabled;
- They must live in the United States, District of Columbia, or Northern Mariana Islands and be a U.S. citizen.
However, this only gets you to the application stage. To qualify for SSI benefits, you must meet certain income and resource guidelines. This means that your monthly income cannot exceed SSI’s income limit and that you cannot own property worth more than the SSI resource limit.
The 2019 limits are:
- Income: Individual ($771) and Couple ($1,157
- Resources: Individual ($2,000) and Couple ($3,000)
You’ll notice that work credits are not mentioned anywhere. That’s because your work history does not matter when you try to qualify for SSI. Work credits are not an issue that will keep you from receiving SSI benefits.
If You Need Financial Assistance, Learn More About SSI
The attorneys at The Law Offices of Martin Taller have more than 50 years’ experience in the legal field. Much of their work involves Social Security disability cases. For a free consultation, call us at 714-385-8100. Though our office is located in Anaheim, we assist clients throughout Southern California.