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Disability Lawyer > Blog > Social Security Disability > How Can I Earn Work Credits for Disability Benefits?

How Can I Earn Work Credits for Disability Benefits?


Anyone who is looking into the possibility of applying for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits will learn that they need to meet two specific requirements in order to qualify for payments: 1) Meet the definition of a “disability” used by the Social Security Administration (SSA), and 2) Show that you have enough work credits, earned within the appropriate period of time. The SSA’s definition of a disability is a condition that is expected to last for at least one year or to result in the person’s death, and a condition that prevents the person from engaging in substantial gainful activity (essentially, meaningful work). An SSDI applicant can meet the disability requirement with medical evidence from a doctor. But what about the work credits? And how can you earn them?

Our national disability benefits lawyers can give you more information about work credits and the time in which you can (or must) earn them.

What is a Work Credit? 

To understand how you can earn work credits, you will need to have knowledge about what they are. In short, a person earns Social Security work credits each year based on their annual W-2 pages or income from self employment. The amount of income a person must receive in order to earn a work credit changes annually.

How Do I Earn Work Credits?

 In 2024, a person earns 1 Social Security work credit for every $1,730 they have earned in income. Every person can earn a maximum of 4 Social Security work credits each year, which means an income of $6,920 in 2024. The amount required for a single work credit was less in previous years, but individuals were nonetheless only permitted to earn up to 4 credits per year (that has been true since 1978).

How to Earn Enough Work Credits for SSDI

How can you earn enough work credits for SSDI? In general, the SSA requires a person to have 40 work credits, and they must have earned at least 20 of those within the last 10 years since they became disabled. The SSA recognizes that younger workers might not have had enough years in the workforce to earn enough work credits to qualify, and exceptions may be available. The total number of credits required for a younger worker will depend on their age and the age at which their disability began.

Contact Our National SSDI Benefits Attorneys for Assistance 

If you are planning to apply for SSDI benefits, it will be essential to determine whether or not you have enough work credits to qualify. The best way to determine your eligibility is to speak with a lawyer and to provide details about your work history. Even if you have not worked for a long enough period because of your age to qualify, you should keep in mind that there are exceptions for younger workers.

An experienced national SSDI benefits attorney at the Law Offices of Stephen Barszcz can speak with you today about applying for SSDI benefits, including meeting the SSA’s definition of a disability and calculating your work credits properly. Contact us today for help with your SSDI application.




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