Social Security Work Credits Explained


For those unable to work because of a medical issue, the Social Security Administration (SSA) offers help. Workers who become disabled are entitled to a monthly payment that can help ease financial woes when you must quit your job. Your ability to get these benefits is based on a number of factors. One of the most confusing factors is work credits. Without enough work credits, you cannot get benefits. Read on to learn more about the issue of work credits and qualifying for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI).

What Is Your Status?

Your past work history holds the key to getting approved for SSDI benefits. If you have worked enough and earned enough money in the past, you can get benefits. With each sum of money you've earned, deductions were taken from your gross pay. You have probably seen the FICA taxes notation on your pay statements. You can consider the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) deductions as a form of disability and retirement insurance.

What Are Work Credits?

Instead of just adding up your benefits based on the FICA contributions, the SSA uses work credits to stand in for dollar amounts. As of 2018, every $1,320 you earn amounts to one work credit. This number is based on the cost of living, and it can change from year to year. You can earn up to a maximum of $5,200 for the entire year and the pay can be earned in any quarter. That amounts to four work credits a year. As you can see, this method of converting dollars to work credits provides those who've made less money a more even chance for benefits as those who make more money.

How Many Work Credits Are Needed to Get Benefits?

The amount required depends on your age when you become disabled. Older workers must have more work credits. Your total work history is not viewed, only the most recent years. This too, varies by your age. If you are younger than age 31 but older than age 24, you must have 16 work credits that were accumulated within the last eight years.

If you are aged 31 or older, you must have accumulated at least 20 work credits and that work must have been done in the past ten years. For example, if you are aged 50 when you become disabled, you must have earned 28 work credits since the age of 40. Those less than 24 years of age must earn at least 6 work credits in the three years before becoming disabled.

Speak with a professional that offers disability attorney services to learn more about getting benefits and for help with a denial of benefits.


10 October 2018

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