What Are SSDI Work Credits?

If you are filing for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), you might have come across the term “work credits” and wondered what they are. They are credits that are earned throughout a person’s work history. Every year that a person earns wages and pays federal income tax into the Social Security system, they earn work credits.

Work credits are a requirement of receiving SSDI, SSI, Social Security Retirement, or Medicare benefits. Keep reading to learn how work credits are earned. If you have questions and want to speak to an attorney, contact The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker at 800-333-0000.

Earning Work Credits

The maximum number of work credits a worker can earn is four per year. The exact number anyone earns depends on their employment and how much they earned. For example, in 2021, a worker must make $1,470 to earn a single work credit. In most cases, a person cannot receive Social Security Disability unless they have earned a total of 20 work credits – though there are exceptions to this rule.

The Number of Work Credits Needed for SSD Increase as a Person Ages

The number of work credits a person needs increases by two credits for every two years of age after a person turns 42. For a person between the ages of 31 and 42, 20 credits are required. A person under the age of 24 needs six work credits to qualify.

Figuring how many work credits are required if you are between 24 and 30 can be a little more challenging. They can require anywhere from 8 – 18 credits, depending on their age.

What to Do if You Do Not Have Enough Work Credits

If you do not meet the minimum requirement for work credits, then you cannot qualify for SSDI. For some, this is because their disability prevented them from ever working. In this case, you could qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), which is available to people with disabilities, limited finances, and without the work history required for SSDI. Note that SSI is a need-based program, and you must be below the household income and asset restrictions before being approved for benefits.

There are Additional Criteria for Benefit Approval

Not only do you need the work credits for benefit approval, but you need the right medical evidence that proves your disability and that it limits your ability to work. No matter how many work credits you have, if your disability does not prevent you from working for at least 12 months, then you will not be approved.

If you need help filling out your disability forms, or if you have been denied and need help with an appeal, contact The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker at 800-333-0000 for help.