How Long Do I Have To Work To Qualify For Disability?

Parmele Law FirmSocial Security

If you have become disabled and unable to work you are entitled to receive certain benefits. But the amount of benefit you get depends on your work history and in some cases the length of time you have been on the job comes into play. To qualify for disability benefits you have to have accumulated a certain number of work credits. This typically depends on your age because older people have been working longer and had more of a change to build up work credits than younger workers. But this does not mean that you do not qualify for disability if you are young. It is always worth checking into to see if you qualify for disability, and our office can handle your case for you.

The general rule is that for a disabled worker to qualify for disability, 20 work credits must have been earned over the past 10 years. Credits are earned as you work, with up to 4 credits being earned per year. The calculation on how credits are earned changes over the years, so it is important to put your case in the hands of a knowledgeable legal professional to make sure you have enough credits to qualify for disability. If you have not worked long enough to have built up the required 20 credits, you may still qualify for disability as follows:

  • If you are disabled before you turn 24 you only have to have 6 credits in the past 3 years of work.
  • For workers who become disabled between 24 and 31 the calculation is more complex, requiring enough credits to equal half of the time between when you turned 21 and the date you became disabled.
  • Your work history must also be recent in order to qualify for benefits, meaning if you took extended time off between jobs you may not qualify for disability.

If you are denied disability payments due to lack of work credits, you can still seek Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments. These payments are based on your financial need, and nearly everyone who is not able to work due to a disability has a financial need for payment. Our job is to explain your options and apply for the maximum amount of benefits on your behalf. We will talk over your choices with you and apply for every type of benefit you are qualified to receive. Let us help you get the benefits you need, and deserve, to keep your family on stable financial footing.

If you have questions about social security disability benefits and how work credits are calculated, call an experienced attorney for help. Contact us online today for more information. We can also be reached at 855-727-6353.