Not everyone with a disabling medical condition qualifies for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. People have to have conditions that are so severe they cannot work at all for at least a year, and they generally also need a lengthy work history.
When someone applies for SSDI benefits, the Social Security Administration (SSA) looks at their accrued credits to see if they qualify. How many credits does the typical applicant need to receive full SSDI benefits?
Workers usually need 40 credits or more
The SSA keeps track of the credits that someone has earned through contributions made from their paychecks. A worker will receive one credit for every $,1640 earned, with a maximum of four credits each year.
When a worker applies for SSDI benefits, they usually need to have at least 40 credits, and 20 of those credits should be from within the last 10 years. If someone is under the age of 31, there is a sliding scale that applies. Generally, they need to have work for at least half of the time since they turned 18, but they do not necessarily need to have 40 credits to get benefits if they develop a disabling medical condition while young. Workers under the age of 24 can qualify with just six credits.
Workers who have performed even part-time jobs often accumulate the four credits possible each year and will, therefore, be eligible should they become unable to work due to health concerns. Learning more about how SSDI benefits function may help people approach this complicated application process in more informed ways when they can no longer work due to health issues.