Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits work to provide individuals with financial protection if they become too sick or otherwise unable to work based on a qualified reason. Over your working lifetime, most people make payments into the Social Security system through their employer. Some people may not work as much or may work independently and not make such payments. In these cases, you may be unsure if you qualify for SSDI.
What Are the Work Requirements for Social Security Disability Insurance Acceptance?
Most of the time, a person needs to work and pay into the Social Security system in order to receive benefits from it. If you do this, you may qualify for retirement benefits as well as disability insurance benefits if you are hurt and unable to work. However, there are specific work requirements that apply to most situations.
For Social Security retirement benefits, what most people know is the 40-quarter requirement. The most basic requirement is having at least 40 quarters of work history and payment into the system. You can earn up to four work credits or quarters per year. However, for SSDI, the terms are a bit different. And, it can be rather difficult for individuals to determine if they have worked enough on their own.
For example, if you became disabled and unable to work at a young age, you could not have had time to earn enough credits. The current system aligns like this:
- If you are between 31 and 42 years of age, you must have earned 20 work credits or quarters. You must have earned those 20 credits in the previous 10 years.
- For those who are age 43 to 61, you must have earned one credit for each calendar year from the time that you were 21 until the year before the disability occurred. And, you must have earned 20 within the last 10 years.
- For those who are 61 years or older, prior to retirement age, you must have earned 40 work credits with 20 of those work credits occurring in the last 10 years.
It is also important to keep in mind that having enough work credits does not mean you automatically qualify for SSDI. You still much prove you have a condition that does not allow you to work and that you are unlikely to be able to return to work ever or for an extended period of time. You must still meet medical requirements to obtain coverage.
What If You Do Not Have Enough Work Credits?
Unfortunately, this is where it can be hard to obtain SSDI benefits. The details of your situation are important, though. Some individuals may qualify for SSI in this situation. This type of coverage is only available to those who cannot work and who meet very limited income guidelines. This is a different type of coverage available to those who may have no work history, but are unable to work at all.
If you are unsure if you meet any requirements, it is best to work with a Social Security Disability attorney to determine your rights. Many factors can disqualify you even if you have the work credits in place.
At The Good Law Group, our team can help you determine if you qualify for Social Security Disability benefits. Even if you have been turned down before, our attorneys may be able to help you qualify. Contact us today to schedule a consultation to discuss your needs.