Not Enough Work Credits for SSDIOne of the most confusing aspects of the Social Security Disability Insurance program is work credits and how much a claimant must work to be considered insured. Many claimants do not make it past the first step in the SSDI evaluation process because they have not paid enough in employment taxes to be considered insured.
If the SSA tells you that you are not insured and you do not qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance what does this really mean?
Social Security Disability Insurance is awarded to claimants who are considered disabled and who have worked and have attained an insured status. What this means is that you have worked and earned enough of what the Social Security Administration calls work credits to be considered eligible for SSDI. So how do you know if you are insured?
How many work credits will I need for SSDI?
According to the Social Security Administration website the amount of work credits an applicant will need will vary depending on the age of the claimant and how old they are when they become disabled. The SSA reports the following on their website www.ssa.gov.
If you become disabled before age 24, you generally need 1½ years of work (six credits) in the three years before you became disabled.
If you are 24 through 30, you generally need credits for half of the time between age 21 and the time you became disabled.
If you are disabled at age 31 or older, you generally need at least 20 credits in the 10 years immediately before you became disabled.
Amount of Income to Generate Work Credits
So how much income do you have to earn to earn one work credit? Workers can receive one credit for each $1,120 of earnings, up to the maximum of four credits per year (in 2011). The amount may periodically be updated by the SSA so it is important to contact them either on their website or at 1-800-772-1213 to find out the current amount.
So what if the Social Security Administration tells you that you are not insured and you do not qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance? What options do you still have to win benefits? You have several choices:
1. Return to work until you have earned enough work credits to qualify for SSDI.
2. Apply for Supplemental Security Income
What is Supplemental Security Income?
Unfortunately, if the SSA told you that you do not have enough work credits to qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance they will deny SSDI benefits without even evaluating your mental or physical health condition.
If you do not qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance, you may still qualify for Supplemental Security Income which is another cash assistance program offered by the Federal Government.
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is provided to the aged (65 years or older), blind or disabled who are unable to work for at least 12 continuous months and who are not considered insured by the Federal Government but need cash assistance to meet their minimum monthly expenses. Supplemental Security Income is a needs based program and is only provided to claimants who have VERY limited income and resources and who meet additional non-economic considerations.
Hiring a Social Security Disability Lawyer
If you would like a Social Security Disability attorney to review your claim you can fill out the FREE evaluation form and a Social Security Disability advocate will call you to review your claim or you can call our office at 1-800-641-3759 to talk to someone now.