Definition of Insured Status
Claimants will only qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits if they are considered insured for benefits. The claimant's insured status indicates whether they have worked enough and paid enough in employment taxes to be considered insured for SSDI. A worker can earn up to four quarters of work credits per year and will need a certain number of credits to be considered insured.
According to the SSA, most workers will need approximately 40 work credits, and they will need to have earned at least 20 work credits in the past 10 years prior to their date of disability. Younger workers may be insured with fewer work credits. For instance, depending on the worker's age, the minimum number of work credits needed for SSDI is 6, and the maximum number needed is 40. A younger worker may be insured with fewer credits, but they can also expect their SSDI payment to be much lower because their average income as they were employed was generally much less.
Many workers ask if they can get SSDI benefits if they do not have enough work credits. No, if you do not have sufficient work credits they cannot be bought, borrowed from a spouse or generated in any way except through working and paying employment taxes. Supplemental Security Income, however, is offered to uninsured workers who are blind, aged, or disabled and cannot work for at least 12 continuous months. SSI recipients must also have very limited income and resources.
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