Government regulations are usually complicated. The application process may be frustrating, with many forms to fill out. Understanding some of the terms and words used can make the whole process easier. For example, you need to understand what a work credit is apply for Social Security Disability.
The Basics of Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits
Someone who feels unable to continue working due to a physical or mental condition can apply for SSDI (Social Security Disability Insurance). If approved, the benefits recipient will receive monthly payments that partially replace their wages.
The applicant will provide information and documents supporting his or her application. However, some of the information will come directly from the Social Security Administration.
Understanding Work Credits
To qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits, an applicant must have worked in jobs where Social Security was paid.
Length of time worked and how recently the applicant worked are both important. For example, some applicants need 40 credits to qualify. At least 20 of the work credits have to be earned in the 10 years prior to the time the disability started.
- Work credits are based on annual wages or self-employment income.
- Workers can earn up to four work credits per year.
- In 2018, workers will earn one credit for each $1,320 of income. So, when a worker has earned four work credits as soon as they have earned $5,280 for the year.
Applicants for SSDI need to have a certain number of work credits to qualify. However, that number varies depending on the applicant’s age when the disability started:
- Before age 24 – The applicant needs 6 credits earned in the 3-year period before onset of disability.
- Age 24 to 31 – This one is complicated! Applicants must have worked half the time between age 21 and the time of disability. A 29-year old could have worked the 8 years between age 21 and 29. If applying for disability, then, the 29-year old would have been able to work for 8 years at 4 credits per year. This applicant would need 16 work credits to qualify for SSDI.
- Age 31 through 42 – The applicant needs 20 credits.
- From age 43 to 62 and older – Applicants need one more credit than the previous year. So, a 43 year old needs 21 work credits. A 52-year old applicant needs 10 more work credits than a 42-year old, which is 30 credits.
Survivor Benefits Based on Work Credits
Some Social Security Disability Insurance recipients pass away, leaving spouses and children who still rely on those SSDI benefits. The family members of individuals with more than 40 credits usually can receive survivor benefits. Younger people need fewer work credits for their families to qualify for survivor benefits.
Do You Have Enough Work Credits to Qualify?
The application process can be long and frustrating, so you need someone on your side. The attorneys at The Law Offices of Martin Taller have more than 50 years’ experience. For a free consultation, call us at 714-385-8100 or use our Contact Form. Though our office is located in Anaheim, we assist clients throughout Southern California.