Thanks for reaading our SSD 101 series! These articles are designed to help you understand your rights if you become disabled and unable to work. Be sure to read our other SSD 101 articles for more information on these topics.Eligibility Criteria
TO BE ELIGIBLE FOR SOCIAL SECURITY BENEFITS AS A WORKER YOU MUST BE:
- Age 62 or older, or disabled or blind;
- "Insured" by having enough work credits. For applications filed December 1, 1996, or later, you must either be a U.S. citizen or lawfully present alien in order to receive monthly Social Security benefits.
HOW MUCH WORK DO YOU NEED TO BE"INSURED"?
Amount of work is measured in "work credits." You can earn up to four work credits per year based on your annual earnings. The amount of earnings required for a work credit increases each year as
general wage levels rise. To be eligible for most types of benefits (such as benefits based on blindness or retirement), you must have earned an average of one work credit for each calendar year between age 21 and the year in which you reach age 62 or become disabled or blind, up to a maximum of 40 credits.
A minimum of six work credits is required, regardless of age.
To qualify for Social Security benefits based on a disability other than blindness, you must have worked long enough and recently enough under Social Security. The number of work credits you need for disability benefits depends on your age when you became disabled. You generally need 20 work credits earned in the last 10 years ending with the year you become disabled. However, younger workers may qualify with fewer credits.
The rules are as follows:
Before age 24 –– You may qualify if you have six work credits earned in the three–year period ending when your disability starts.
Age 24 to 31 –– You may qualify if you have credit for having worked half the time between age 21 and the time you become disabled.
EXAMPLE: If at age 27 you become disabled, you would need 12 work credits in the past six years (between age 21 and age 27).
Age 31 and older –– In general, you will need to have the number of work credits shown in the chart below. You must have earned at least 20 of the credits in the 10 years immediately before you become disabled.
Credits needed by date of disablement (Born After 1929)
Become Disabled at Age Work Credits Needed:
Age - Credits Needed
31 through 42 - 20
44 - 22
46 - 24
48 - 26
50 - 28
52 - 30
54 - 32
56 - 34
58 - 36
60 - 38
62 or older - 40
**This information is based on New York State. Each state may be different. This blog post is for informational purposes. Your specific circumstances may vary from the information provided. Every case is different. Prior results do not guarantee future outcomes. The contents contained in this post do not establish an attorney-client relationship. Please contact us before sending confidential or time-sensitive material**