Dallas Disability Lawyer: Work Credits and Your Eligibility for SSDI

There are two basic criteria anyone filing for SSDI benefits in Dallas needs to meet before being having his claim approved:

  • The Social Security Administration must agree that your impairments are disabling and prevent you from working.
  • You’ve paid a sufficient amount into the system within the proper timeframe.

Have you paid into the system?

Social Security work credits are typically calculated from your annual income taxes. You can earn up to one credit for each quarter, for a total of four in a year. The national average wage index is re-evaluated each year so the cost of a single work credit can be adjusted accordingly. For the last several years, earned income needed for a credit has gradually increased. For examples:

  • In 2010 and 2011, work credits cost $1,120 each.
  • In 2012, work credits cost $1,130 each.
  • In 2013, work credits cost $1,160 each.

Once you have earned $4,640 in 2013, you have earned your four credits for the year. It is not possible to buy additional work credits.

How do work credits affect my SSDI benefits?

In order to be eligible for SSDI disability benefits, you’ll need to have earned a sufficient number of work credits. How many credits you’ll need depends on your age. Someone who is 62 years of age or older will need to have at least 40 work credits, half of which were earned in the decade before they needed to file. If you’re younger than 62, the standard is different. For example:

  • Applicants aged 23 or younger will need six or more credits earned within three years of applying.
  • Applicants aged 24 to 31 must have work credits covering at least half the time between turning 21 and applying for benefits. If you file at 29 years old, you’d need 16 credits, showing that you worked for a minimum of four years since turning age 21 and filing.
  • Applicants aged 31 to 61 who are not filing due to blindness will have the needed number of credits adjusted for each year. At least 20 qualifying work credits must have been earned in the decade prior to filing.

If you’re planning on filing for SSDI, you’ll need to know how many work credits you’ve earned with Social Security before you do so. Learn as much as possible about the disability claims process before filing by scheduling a free consultation with a Dallas disability benefits attorney today. Call 877-898-1581or fill out our online form.

 

Carl M. Weisbrod
Connect with me
Managing Partner of Morgan & Weisbrod, Board Certified in Social Security Disability Law