Unlike other financial assistance programs the federal government provides, Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is closely intertwined with not only your ability to work, but also your work history. In order to be eligible to receive SSDI benefits, you may need to have earned a certain number of work credits.
Work credits are prerequisites to receiving SSDI benefits that allow the government to measure whether you have paid into the Social Security system to a sufficient degree to receive payments from it. Sandy Springs work credit requirements are strict, and failing to meet these requirements could mean that you do not qualify for SSDI benefits.
A sufficient history of work credits and confirmation that an application meets the definition of disability are the two primary factors the Social Security Administration (SSA) evaluates when determining eligibility for the SSDI program. If you need help determining whether you successfully fulfill Sandy Springs work credit requirements, speak to a Sandy Springs SSDI lawyer. An capable and compassionate attorney may be able to help.
How can Workers Earn Work Credits?
Being a past member of the workforce does not guarantee eligibility for SSDI alone. Individuals must earn an established number of work credits to qualify.
Work credits are earned based on a worker’s wages or self-employment income throughout their work history.
In 2018, a worker must make $1,320 in order to earn one work credit. Up to four work credits may be earned per year. A person working this year could earn their four work credits when they make $5,280 in one year. Having more work credits does not in any way increase the amount of benefits an individual is entitled to receive—this could only impact whether they qualify for SSDI benefits or not. A Sandy Springs attorney could help a worker understand how they could meet work credit requirements.
What Number of Credits are Required for Eligibility?
The number of work credits required to be eligible for SSDI may vary based on the age at which a worker becomes disabled. A total of 40 work credits could be typically required.
20 out of those 40 credits must have been earned within the last ten years prior to becoming disabled. This could translate roughly into a requirement that an individual must have worked a minimum of five out of the last ten years. There may be special exceptions to this general rule for blind persons and younger persons.
Even if an individual does suffer from a long-term disability, not having the required number of work credits could negatively impact their eligibility. Disabled persons who do not meet the work credit requirements in Sandy Springs may qualify for another assistance program such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
Requirements for Younger Workers
Younger workers may not have access to the same opportunity to earn as many work credits as older workers since they have spent less time as members of the workforce. This is taken into account in the work credit requirements.
Younger workers may not necessarily be required to have earned 40 work credits. If someone becomes disabled before reaching the age of 24, they could qualify for benefits having only earned six credits in the three-year period ending when their disability started. Individuals who become disabled between the ages of 24 and 31 may qualify for SSDI benefits if they worked for at least half of the time between when they were 21 years old and when they became disabled.
Determining Work Credit Requirements in Sandy Springs
Calculating work credits could be a complex process. If you require assistance with any aspect of your work credit requirements in Sandy Springs, please do not hesitate to seek professional assistance from a dedicated Social Security attorney. To schedule your appointment, call today to speak to our intake team.