Qualifying for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits is not automatic simply because you have a disabling medical condition that prevents you from working. First, in order to qualify for SSD benefits, you must have a disabling medical condition that prevents you from being able to engage in gainful employment. Second, you also are required to be insured for SSD benefits. This means, in addition to having a qualifying medical disability, you also must have worked a minimum amount of time and made a minimum amount of money during that period in order for you to be considered insured for SSD benefits according to Social Security rules. Someone, therefore, could have a disabling condition that prevents him or her from working and that meets all of Social Security’s rules for meeting the medical disability part of the equation, but not enough prior work history in order to receive benefits.
The rules for qualifying for the work history requirement for obtaining SSD benefits are measured by counting what is called work credits. The number of credits you earn for a particular year is dependent upon your income for the year. Qualifying for a single work credit according to new standards put in place for 2020 requires $1,410 in earned income. Qualifying for four credits in 2020 requires earning $5,640 over the course of the year. However, you do not necessarily have to work four quarters in a year in order to earn four credits. Thus, if you made $6,000 in the first quarter of 2019 and then had difficulty finding work for the rest of the year, you still would receive the maximum possible four credits for that year. You can only earn four credits per year, no matter your income, so you earn a maximum of four credits for a particular year regardless of whether your annual income for that year was $100,000 or $7,000.
To qualify for Social Security Disability, you need at least 6 and no more than 40 credits depending on your age. The younger you are, the fewer credits you need in order to be fully insured and thus to qualify for SSD benefits. Thus, someone who is 26 and applying for SSD benefits would need fewer credits than a person who is 58 and is applying for those same benefits.
Talk to The Experienced Social Security Disability Attorneys at Kalfus & Nachman
The rules regarding earning enough credits to qualify for SSD benefits can often be complicated and difficult to understand. Even the staff at the Social Security Administration often make mistakes when calculating how many work credits you may have if you have a disabling medical condition and you apply for SSD benefits. The experienced Virginia Social Security Disability attorneys at Kalfus & Nachman can explain to you the often confusing and difficult to understand rules surrounding who is eligible for SSD benefits and who is not based on your individual work history. We also can review your Social Security earnings record and correct any errors that may exist in order to help you qualify for the SSD benefits that you have worked hard for and deserve.
If you live in the Norfolk, Hampton, Newport News, Portsmouth, Virginia Beach or Roanoke, Virginia, areas and need assistance determining if you qualify for SSD based on your previous work history, filing your SSD application, or filing an appeal, please contact Kalfus & Nachman PC by phone at (855) 880-8163 or through the form on this page to schedule a free consultation.