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Making Sense of SSDI Payroll Work Credits

To successfully apply for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), you must meet a variety of requirements: you must be disabled, your income must fall below a certain level to qualify, and you must have the proper number of “payroll work credits.” While there are many complexities involved with the application process, this one in particular confuses many applicants.

Work credits are earned by working and paying taxes and are based on how much money you earned each year. Nearly all part-time and full-time workers qualify for the maximum of four credits per year under this system, as the amount of money required to earn each credit is relatively low.

Credits are measured in two ways. First, you must show that you have earned enough work credits over the duration of your lifetime. The number of credits you need to qualify depends on your age. This is known as the “duration of work test.” For example, a 21-year-old applicant would need only 6 credits to qualify, while a 60-year-old would need 38 credits (the equivalent of 9.5 years of work).

The second measurement is the “recent work test.” You must have earned a certain number of credits recently to qualify for Social Security disability. This prevents people from retiring and then seeking benefits a decade later. These requirements also vary by age. For example, those aged 24 to 31 must have worked at least half of the time between age 21 and when they became disabled. Those over 31 must have earned 20 or more credits in the 10 years immediately before they became disabled.

If you are seeking Social Security Disability Insurance, the injury attorneys at Ryan Bisher Ryan & Simons can help. Contact us today to arrange your free initial consultation.

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