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Have you worked for long enough to qualify for SSDI?

Although you may not have saved anything you’ve earned, you’ve slowly been making contributions toward your own retirement or disability support since your first job. Even when you were a part-time worker at the local ice cream shop back in high school, a portion of every paycheck went to Social Security.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) tracks the contributions made by individual professionals throughout their adult lives, and the contributions someone has made will determine what benefits, if any, they qualify to receive. Some people depend on Social Security retirement benefits when they reach a certain age, but others need help well before the average adult stops working.

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits protect working adults who can no longer support themselves and their families because of a medical condition. How can you determine if you have worked long enough to qualify for benefits?

Most applicants require 40 credits

Every year that you work, you can accumulate up to four credits. The SSA will add one credit to your account for every $1,510 earned, but you cannot accrue more than four credits in one year. When someone applies for SSDI, they usually need to have at least 40 credits, and the SSA usually wants at least 20 of those credits to be from within the last 10 years.

Some people start a career and then end up hurt in a car crash or sick with a condition they didn’t know they had. Younger workers under the age of 31 may qualify for benefits with a lower number of credits based on their overall work history.

How do you know how many credits you have?

The SSA sends out written notices and emails advising working adults of their number of credits and benefits eligibility. If it has been some time since you received such a notice, you can contact the local SSA office or log on to the website for the SSA to check the number of credits that you have. Obviously, you will also need to have a medical condition that meets certain standards to qualify for SSDI benefits.

Learning more about the rules that apply to SSDI benefits claims will help those coping with a serious medical issue.


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