If you are preparing to apply for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), you may be confused as to what work credits are and how they ultimately affect your eligibility for benefits. The number of work credits you have is crucial to receiving SSDI. The SSDI work credit requirements in Atlanta depend on your age and the number of years you worked before sustaining your disabling injury or illness.
It is usually best to work with a knowledgeable hearing claims advocate before applying for benefits. A lawyer who is familiar with these cases can examine what kinds of benefits you may be entitled to and advise you on filing an initial application.
Overview of the SSDI Work Credit System
To qualify for SSDI, you need to have a health condition, either psychological or physical, that renders you unable to work for 12 months or longer. In addition to meeting the health criteria to receive SSDI benefits, you must also have an adequate number of work credits.
When a person is self-employed or employed by a company, they pay Social Security income taxes. By paying these taxes, you accumulate a certain amount of work credits over the years. Various factors impact the work credits a person builds up annually. The income quota required to accrue each credit changes every year. Regardless of your salary, you can only earn up to four work credits per year.
The work credits required for SSDI in Atlanta vary according to an applicant’s age. So, a person who becomes disabled near retirement age will require more work credits to qualify for SSDI than a younger person who suffers a disabling illness or injury which prevents them from working.
However, the amount of work credits you have does not affect the dollar amount of benefits you receive upon approval. Instead, your past income will determine the benefits issued on a month to month basis.
Qualifying for SSDI by Work Credits
The standard requirement needed to qualify for SSDI is 40 work credits, with half having been collected in the 10 years prior to the onset of a disabling condition. However, younger employees may not have 40 credits at the time of becoming disability. As such, the Social Security Administration outlines specific work credit requirements by age.
For example, if someone becomes disabled by or before the age of 23, they should have accrued at least six work credits in the 36 months preceding their disability. When a worker who is at least 31 applies for SSDI, in most cases, they will need to have accrued a minimum of 20 credits in the decade preceding their disabling injury to qualify for benefits.
Ask an Atlanta Lawyer about Work Credit Requirements for SSDI
If you believe you can meet the SSDI work credit requirements in Atlanta, it may be wise to talk with a lawyer about the next steps. An attorney from our team can help you avoid the common pitfalls that often arise when trying to handle these claims alone and effectively represent your interests. To speak with a lawyer about your SSDI claim, book an introductory consultation by calling our intake team today.