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How long must you work to qualify for SSDI benefits?

On Behalf of | Jun 14, 2022 | Social Security Disability

Only those who have worked for years and who have serious medical issues will typically qualify for federal disability benefits. There are a lot of rules that apply to Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. The average person doesn’t need to know these rules because they will never claim SSDI. What they may eventually claim will instead be Social Security retirement benefits.

Only those who suffer some kind of severe injury or experience a major medical issue before they are old enough to retire will be able to receive SSDI benefits. These workers will need proof that they have a medical condition so severe that it prevents them from working. Additionally, they need to have an adequate work history to qualify for SSDI benefits.

Their work history stems from the contributions that they have previously made to the program. Workers helped fund SSDI and Social Security retirement benefits through payroll withholdings deducted from every check. When do you have enough work on record to qualify for SSDI?

Most adults need 40 credits at least

You can accrue up to four credits a year as you work. You earn one credit for each $1,510 in wages, and you cannot earn more credits when your pay exceeds $6,040 Obviously, you need to make $6,040 or more per year for at least 10 years to accrue a full 40 credits.

Unfortunately, some people find themselves unable to work when they have not yet had 10 years of professional experience. Younger workers may qualify on a sliding scale. They typically need gainful employment for at least half of the time between when they turned 21 and when they apply for SSDI.

How do you verify your work history?

If you are in your twenties or 30s and worry that you may not have enough credits with the Social Security Administration (SSA) to qualify for full SSDI benefits, you can check using your SSA online account or by reaching out to the local office.

Once you know that you have enough credits to qualify based on your age, then you can begin to worry about Gathering the necessary medical documentation to prove your claim. Understanding the rules that determine who receives SSDI benefits will help you more easily file a claim.


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