Make A Great Impression In The Courtroom

Make A Great Impression In The Courtroom

Understanding SSDI Work Credits

by Richard Ramirez

For workers that are afflicted by a medical condition and cannot work, the Social Security Administration (SSA) provides a form of relief. Monthly payments are available for those workers who have worked enough and paid enough into the social security system. It's important for workers who are considering applying to understand how the work they've done is counted when they apply for benefits, so read on to learn more.

How your earnings are calculated

To help the SSA determine your eligibility, they perform some calculations that convert the amount of money you've earned in the past few years to what's known as work credits. As of 2018, every $1,320 you earn converts into one work credit. This earnings amount can change annually. You can only earn a maximum of four work credits per year. The SSA rules say that you can earn this money all at once or spread it out throughout the year.

How many years of work are necessary to get benefits?

The way your eligibility is determined depends on your age when you become disabled and apply for SSDI (Social Security Disability Insurance). Older workers are required to have more years of earnings than younger ones. The SSA uses two different tests to find out if you have enough years of work credits to be provided benefits: the recent work test and the duration of work test.

In general, those who are over 31 years of age must show that they have worked and earned credits for at least 5 of the most recent 10-year period. If you are under age 31 but are at least age 24 at the time you became disabled, it is a bit more complicated. You must show that you have worked for at least one-half of the number of years that have elapsed since you became 21. Here is an example for those under the age of 31: if you are 29 when you apply for benefits, you must show that you have worked for at least 4 years (29-21=8/2=4). It should be mentioned that those who are blind do not need to abide by the above work credit rules.

What else to know

It's worth noting that work credits are used by the SSA to determine more than just your benefit eligibility if you became disabled; they are also used to determine your retirement pay and eligibility for Medicare when the time comes. While the above may seem unnecessarily complicated, you don't actually have to do the math. Fortunately, you can access your account using the SSA website and find out whether or not you have worked enough to earn disability, retirement pay, and Medicare.


About Me

Make A Great Impression In The Courtroom

Hello, I'm Phillip Kerr and I just love the legal profession and courtroom drama. Have you ever watched judge shows on TV? I know that these shows are not an accurate representation of the courtroom, but there is something you may have noticed. Some individuals come into the courtroom well-dressed, articulate, respectful and with the knowledge and documents necessary to support a case, while others come unprepared, slovenly dressed and appear as if they do not have a care in the world. How you present yourself and the knowledge that you have of the law will have an impact on how you are treated, even if you have legal representation. This blog is designed to assist those who are going to trial in doing just that.