Generally, you must have a medical condition or injury that prevents you from working in order to qualify for Social Security disability benefits. However, not all Georgia residents with a serious disability will qualify for benefits under the SSD insurance program. Before you apply for disability benefits, you will need to make sure you have the correct number of work credits needed.
The number of credits required to qualify for benefits will depend on when you became disabled and your current age. Over the course of your career, you likely paid Social Security taxes each year and could earn up to four credits per year. The number of credits you receive each year will change every year. In 2019, $1,360 in covered earnings will get you one Social Security work credit, while $5,440 will get you four credits.
Worker who are 31 years old or older are required to have a variable number of credits to qualify for disability benefits. For workers ages 24 to 31, you may qualify for benefits if you worked half the time between age 21 and your age when you became disabled. For example, a person who became disabled at age 29 would need a total of 16 work credits, or credits for four years of work. Workers under the age of 24 can qualify if they earned six credits over the three years leading up to the start of their disability.
There are many requirements to qualify for Social Security Disability benefits and it’s easy to get confused during the application process. An attorney specializing in disability benefits can review your work history and help determine whether you have the work credits required for disability benefits.