Law Firm Blog

New Port Richey SSD Lawyer Explains the Complexities of Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits

Learn about the length of time that you must work in order to qualify for Social Security disability benefits

The Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program provides monetary benefits to disabled individuals. Unlike with SSI benefits, a person must have earned a certain number of work credits in order to be eligible for monetary benefits. The New Port Richey SSD attorney from The Rooth Law Firm passionately represents clients who are considering or actively pursuing Social Security disability benefits.

What are work credits?

The Social Security Administration expresses the requirement related to work history in terms of work credits. Workers earn credits when they work and pay their Social Security taxes. Individuals can receive up to four credits per year. Today, work credits are based on the total wages and self-employment income that individuals make each year, regardless of when the income was earned during the year. As of 2016, a person receives one work credit after earning $1,260. He or she receives four work credits for earning $5,040 per year. Work credits do not directly impact the amount of benefits a person will receive. Instead, they simply determine whether the individual has worked a sufficient amount of time to be eligible for benefits.

Credits needed for workers age 31 and older

The older a person is, the more work credits he or she must have earned. The number of credits a claimant must have earned are:

  • 20 credits for claimants age 31 to 42
  • 22 credits for claimants age 44 to 45
  • 24 credits for claimants age 46 of 47
  • 26 credits for claimants age 48 to 49
  • 28 credits for claimants age 50 to 51
  • 30 credits for claimants age 52 to 53
  • 32 credits for claimants age 54 to 55
  • 34 credits for claimants age 56 to 57
  • 36 credits for claimants age 58 to 59
  • 38 credits for claimants age 60 to 61
  • 40 credits for claimants age 62 and older

To determine the number of years of work history the individual needs, simply divide the number of credits by 4. For example, a 65 year-old would need to have worked 10 years (40/4) and a 32-year-old claimant would need 5 years of work (20/4).

Work credits necessary for claimants 24 to 30 years old

Claimants must have received credits for at least half of the time for the period between age 21 and the point when they were diagnosed with their disability.

Work credits necessary for claimants under age 25

Generally, claimants under 25 must have accumulated six work credits within the last three years before they became disabled to qualify for benefits.

Legal experience you can depend on

New Port Richey SSD lawyer Joseph Rooth of The Rooth Law Group helps qualifying clients procure SSDI and SSI benefits through zealous legal representation. He does not charge a fee until you are approved for benefits. Contact our law office at 727-849-3400 or complete the online contact form to schedule.  We represent clients in New Port Richey, Clearwater, Tampa and throughout the central Gulf Coast area.

roothlawyerHow Long Do I Have to Work to Qualify for Social Security Disability Benefits