Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits are only available to a small fraction of the population. People must have disabling medical conditions that will last for at least a year to qualify. They generally need to be unable to perform even the simplest job. They also need to have a substantial work history.
The Social Security Administration (SSA) generally only approves SSDI benefits claims for those with enough work credits to qualify. How does someone unable to work because of a health condition validate whether they have enough credits to obtain benefits?
People typically need 40 credits
As a general rule, workers can only acquire at most four credits a year. The SSA will grant someone a single credit for every $1,640 in income each year (although that figure changes a little each year). People who work even part-time jobs are often able to accrue four credits each year that they work.
When someone applies for SSDI benefits, they also need to have a recent work history. The SSA generally requires that someone has 20 credits from within the last decade.
Younger workers who have had less time to earn credits can qualify for full benefits despite a shorter work history. Those under the age of 31 may need to review the special rules that apply based on their age. Some workers can qualify for SSDI with as few as six credits acquired in the last three years.
Applicants can either directly contact their local SSA office or log into their online accounts to verify the number of credits they have already accumulated. Comparing personal work history to credit requirements is one of several important steps for those hoping to secure SSDI benefits.