Abromson & Carey, Attorneys at Law
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Understanding working credits in SSDI: Part II

In yesterday’s post, we began a discussion about the relevancy of your work history when applying for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits. For most applicants who have worked at least 10 years and earned at least $4,800 per year, amassing the requisite number of working credits will not be an issue.

But if you become disabled in your 20s, 30s or 40s, your work history may not be as solid and you may not have amassed 40 working credits. For individuals in this situation, the SSA considers the age at which you became disabled and measures it against two factors: Whether or not you were working before becoming disabled and how many years of work you have amassed in adulthood.

Here is a general breakdown of the duration of work required based on age:

  • Prior to age 28: 1.5 years of work needed
  • Age 30: 2 years of work needed
  • Age 34: 3 years of work needed
  • Age 38: 4 years of work needed
  • Age 42: 5 years of work needed
  • Age 46: 6 years of work needed
  • Age 48: 6.5 years of work needed

The list follows that pattern up into the 60s. This list does not apply in all situations, but it should at least provide you with a rough guideline of whether or not you have worked enough to qualify for benefits.

Every case is unique, and there may be special exemptions or exceptions that you qualify for without knowing it. This is one reason why it’s a good idea to seek help from an experienced Social Security Disability attorney.

Source: The Motley Fool, “Social Security Disability: Do You and Your Family Qualify?” Sean Williams, Sept. 13, 2014

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