Required Work Credits for SSDI Eligibility

Eligibility for a social security disability insurance (SSDI) claim is determined by additional factors aside from being disabled. One such factor is a computation of work credits, earned through any gainful work activity in the past.

An individual can earn up to four work credits yearly. However, the SSDI’s requirements for benefit eligibility depend on the individual’s age at the time he got injured. In general, older claimants need more work credits to be eligible. There are two tests that a claimant should pass involving work credits, namely the “recent work test” and the “duration of work test”.

To pass the “recent work test”, claimants 31 years or older are required to have worked for at least 5 of the last 10 years. An individual between 24 to 31 years of age must have worked at least half that time since turning 21. Passing the “duration of work test” requires claimants to meet a minimum work duration, also depending on their age. Younger individuals from 21 through 24 years old need at least one-and-a-half years during which he or she was gainfully employed, while older applicants are required to have worked more.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) computes work credits by converting them from one’s earnings. For instance: in 2013, one must earn $1,160 to get one work credit, or $4,640 to get the maximum four work credits annually. It doesn’t really matter which quarter of the year a person worked, he or she only needs to hit the numbers.

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