What Is a Work Credit?

September 28, 2018
Dayes Law Firm

One of the requirements for receiving Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits is having enough work credits. The number of work credits you need depends on your age. There are also requirements for how many credits you needed to have earned in the years before you were diagnosed as disabled.

For assistance with your disability claim, request a free, no obligation case consultation with our knowledgeable Social Security Disability lawyers in Phoenix today. We can help you determine if you have earned the required amount of work credits and help you pursue your SSD claim.

How You Earn Work Credits

You earn work credits through your history of working. Every year you earn wages, you pay into the Social Security system and earn work credits.

Up to four work credits can be earned for each year of work. The amount of work credits you earn is based on employment activity and earnings. In 2018, one work credit is earned for every $1,320 earned, and you can earn a maximum of four work credits in a year.

Qualifying for Social Security Disability

In addition to earning work credits, you must also pass a recent work test to qualify for SSD benefits.

Workers generally need to have earned 20 work credits to qualify for SSD benefits. Workers over age 31 must have 20 work credits earned over the previous 15 years, while younger workers may qualify with fewer credits.

The number of credits required to qualify for disability increases with age. Workers disabled after age 42 must have earned one work credit every calendar year between age 21 and the year before the worker’s disability began. This maxes out at 40 work credits required for disabled workers ages 62 and older.

Workers ages 24 to 30 must have worked for half the period from age 21 to the onset of disability. Those under age 24 may qualify for SSD if six work credits are earned in the three-year period before the onset of disability.

For workers considered blind by SSD standards, these rules do not apply. Rarely, exceptions are made for workers over age 31 who were previously disabled before age 31.

If you have not earned enough work credits to qualify for SSD benefits, you may be eligible for disability benefits through the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program. There is no work requirement through this program. It is based on financial need.

If a worker is eligible for disability benefits, family members are also eligible for benefits. Current and ex-spouses as well as adult and minor children of those receiving SSD benefits may receive auxiliary benefits.

Contact Our Disability Lawyers for Help

In addition to earning the required amount of work credits, many other elements are needed for a successful disability claim. Working with a skilled disability lawyer can help ensure you submit a strong claim, helping you gain access to the benefits you need initially and avoiding a potentially lengthy appeals process.

If you need assistance filing your disability claim, our experienced disability attorneys are available to assist you. We offer a free, no obligation case consultation and there are no upfront fees when working with our firm. Legal fees and expenses are only due if we successfully recover compensation for you.

Call 1-800-503-2000 or complete our Free Case Review form now.