When you are going through the process of applying for disability benefits, you will eventually come across the work credits requirement if you are applying for the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program. One of the most important eligibility requirements of the SSDI program is the number of work credits you have earned over the past five years. If you do not have a certain amount of these credits, you will not be able to receive disability benefits under this program. Consider asking a disability attorney what your options are if you find yourself in this situation.
The reason work credits can be a dealbreaker for whether you can receive SSDI benefits is that these work credits determine whether you paid enough into Social Security through your various jobs. Depending on the types of jobs you have had in the past, you may or may not have been paying into Social Security over the years.
What paying into Social Security does is provide funding for the SSDI program you are applying for. People who have not worked jobs that pay into Social Security are ineligible for the SSDI program because nothing has been paid into those benefits. This ties into work credits because the amount of work credits you earn over the years depends on how much you pay in Social Security taxes through your job.
Four credits can be earned a year through Social Security taxes and to be considered for the SSDI program, you must have earned at least 40 work credits. However, you may only need 6 credits if you are under 24, 12 credits if you are 24 to 31, and 20 credits if you are 31 or older.
Do not panic if you find out you are short on work credits or have not worked any jobs that pay into Social Security. You have the option of applying for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), a disability benefits program for people with little to no income. This program works similarly to the SSDI program in that you will receive monthly benefits to help cover your financial needs.
To be eligible for SSI, you need to either have a disability, be over age 65, or blind and one of these must impair your ability to make more than a certain amount of money each month. If you make more than a certain amount of money each month despite your disability, then your SSI application will be denied. This is because rather than being based on work credits, SSI is based on income alone.
Try reaching out to a denied benefits appeal if your disability benefits application was denied despite you meeting the requirements and submitting the right evidence. Call Edelstein & Nelson at 800-887-4529 for a consultation today. One of our Philidelphia disability attorneys might be able to help you defend your disability claim to help you earn the financial benefits you need.