You may know that to qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits, you must fall under the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) strict definition of physical or mental disability. But you may not have known that you must have also worked in a job or jobs that were covered by Social Security. This is where the concept of work credits comes into play. Continue reading to learn how to calculate work credits and how an experienced attorney of SSDI eligibility in New Jersey, at The Law Offices of Sheryl Gandel Mazur, can help you in this computation.
What are work credits?
The SSA holds that you must have worked “long enough” and “recent enough” to qualify for SSDI benefits. And so, they determine what is “long enough” and “recent enough” by calculating your Social Security work credits.
How do I calculate work credits?
Essentially, Social Security work benefits are computed based on your total yearly wages. Or, if you are self-employed, it is based on your self-employment income. With this, you may earn up to four credits each year.
Now, the amount of money needed to make up one work credit changes from year to year. For example, in 2022, the amount you needed to earn for one work credit was $1,510 in total yearly wages or self-employment income. And when you earned $6,040 in one year, then you earned four credits. But now, in 2023, you need to earn $1,640 in total yearly wages or self-employment income to earn one credit. Meaning, when you have earned $6,560, then you have earned four credits for the year.
How many work credits do I need to qualify for SSDI benefits?
There are further work credit calculations you need to make to determine your SSDI eligibility. Generally speaking, you may need to earn 40 credits to qualify. With this, 20 of these credits have been earned in the last 10 years and have ended in the year your disability began.
But in reality, the amount of work credits you require is contingent on the age at which your disability began. More specific examples are as follows:
- If you incurred a disability before the age of 24: you would need to have earned six credits in a three-year period that ended in the year your disability began.
- If you incurred a disability between the ages of 24 to 31: you would need to have earned credits for half the time between age 21 and the age your disability began.
- If you incurred a disability after the age of 31: you would need to have earned 20 credits in a 10-year period that ended in the year your disability began.
There is no time limit to apply for SSDI benefits. But as soon as you incur a physical or mental disability, you must contact a skilled New Jersey SSDI attorney. We are ready and willing to take on your case.