We have to pass tests in school and even to get our drivers’ license. When it comes to Social Security benefits, we have to pass a couple of tests also. If you are planning to apply for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits, you need to know about passing the recent work test.
How does “work” affect my SSDI Claim?
To qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits, workers must meet two basic requirements:
- They must have a medical condition that prevents them from working; and
- They must have enough work credits.
Disabled workers may meet the medical requirements, but not have enough work credits. If so, they can apply for Supplemental Security Income, but must have a very limited income and few resources. Note that there is no financial requirement for Social Security Disability Insurance claims.
If you’ve never applied for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits, it’s very possible you have never heard of work credits.
What are work credits?
You may earn up to four work credits every year. Each work credit is based on how much money you made. For example, in 2018, workers earned one credit for each $1,320 in wages or self-employment income. Whether you realized it or not, you earned work credits if you were working.
Workers generally need 40 work credits to qualify for retirement or disability benefits. However, the number varies based on age. Younger workers are not required to have as many work credits because they have not had as many years to work.
There’s one more hurdle that depends on your work history.
What is the recent work test?
Applicants for SSDI must meet two tests regarding their earnings. The first is the number of work credits they have earned. The second test involves when those credits were earned.
Generally, a worker who is required to have 40 work credits must have earned 20 of those credits in the 10 years prior to becoming disabled. So, a 60 year old man who applies for SSDI needs to have earned 20 work credits between age 50 and 60.
As the number of work credits required changes, the recent work test changes also based on age.
For example, a 24-year old applicant only needs 6 work credits that have been earned between age 21 and 24.
Applying for Social Security Disability Insurance Is Hard. We Can Help.
The application process can be long and frustrating. It’s important to have someone who knows the system help you right from the start.
The attorneys at The Law Offices of Martin Taller have more than 50 years’ experience in the legal field. Call us at 714-385-8100 to set up a free consultation. Though our office is conveniently located in Anaheim, we assist clients throughout Southern California.