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How do you earn Social Security disability benefits?

Disability benefits are something you can generally claim when an injury at work results in your being temporarily or permanently disabled. There are a few catches, however, that you may need to work through with your attorney. For example, if you don't meet the requirements for the amount of time worked at a job, then you may not qualify for disability benefits despite your injuries.

When you want to qualify for disability benefits, you'll need to show that you have 40 Social Security work credits. These are credits you earn each time you earn $1,220 in wages or self-employment income. So, if you were to earn $2,440, then you'd have two credits of Social Security work credits.

Another catch is that even if you have 40 work credits, you must be able to show that you earned 20 of those credits within the last ten years. The ten years in retrospect start from the year of your disability.

What happens if you're too young to have 40 Social Security work credits? What happens if you decide not to work any longer? It's possible you won't qualify, and that's something that could force you to make a separate claim for other types of compensation.

If you're denied due to not meeting the standards by law, then you could choose to sue a third party or the person responsible for your injuries; if you have workers' compensation, it may be able to support your lost wages for a time. These are special situations that you should speak with your attorney about to find the best solution for your case.

Source: Social Security Administration, "Disability Planner: How Much Work Do You Need?," accessed Oct. 08, 2015

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Philip J. Fulton Law OfficeRepresenting Victims Of Workplace Injuries And Disability

89 East Nationwide Boulevard
Suite 300
Columbus, OH 43215

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