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Work Credits

SSDI Attorneys for Chicago Area Residents

In order to obtain Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits, you need to meet certain criteria. You must have a medical condition that qualifies as a disability, and it needs to be expected to last a year or terminate in death. Additionally, you need to have a certain number of work credits. To get enough work credits, you need to have worked long enough and paid into the system. If you have questions about work credits for purposes of obtaining SSDI benefits, you can consult legal counsel. Legitimate SSDI claims are sometimes denied, and a Chicago Social Security lawyer familiar with the system can help you navigate the requirements you will need to be aware of when seeking benefits.

Work Credits

In order to obtain SSDI benefits, you need a certain number of work credits. You earn work credits every year you earn wages and also pay FICA taxes into the Social Security system. Work credits are based on your total wages for the year, or your self-employment income. You can earn a maximum of four credits each year. If you stop working prior to obtaining enough credits for SSDI benefits, the credits remain on your record. You can come back to work later and add more credits in order to get benefits. Each year, the amount of earnings it takes to earn a work credit can shift.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) will look at the age you were when you became disabled in order to determine the number of work credits you need to obtain SSDI benefits. The number of work credits you possess, along with your age and other factors will determine whether you’ll qualify for disability benefits. A dedicated SSDI attorney can review your work history to assess your chances of meeting these requirements.

Recent Work Test and Duration of Work Test

With the recent work test and the duration of work test, the SSA will examine how much you have worked as well as how recently you worked in evaluating whether you qualify for SSDI. You can’t obtain partial benefits by having some work credits but not enough for your age, and conversely, if you have more than enough work credits, you don’t get any additional benefits or have an easier time securing benefits.

Under the recent work test, you must have worked for a certain number of years just before you became disabled. Usually, you need 40 credits to qualify for SSDI. If you are over 31, you will usually need to have accumulated 20 work credits over the last 15 years. However, younger workers can earn fewer credits and still qualify. If you’re under 24-years-old, you can qualify for SSDI if you’ve earned six work credits in the three years before you became disabled. If you’re between 24 and 31 when you apply, you need to have worked for half of the time between age 21 and the age you were when you became disabled.

In the duration of work test, the SSA measures how much work you’ve done over your life. If you’re 42-years-old or older, you need to have worked at least one quarter per year to pass the duration of work test. And, you must have earned a minimum of 5 of your years within 10 years of becoming disabled.

Consult a Knowledgeable SSDI Lawyer in Chicago

If you are concerned about obtaining SSDI benefits in Chicago because you’re unsure as to whether you have sufficient work credits, you can consult the legal team at Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca. Our seasoned SSDI attorneys can represent disabled claimants in communities including Rockford, Quincy, Aurora, and Champaign, as well as throughout Cook, Kane, Sangamon, Adams, and Winnebago Counties. We can also look at the circumstances of your disability to figure out whether other relief may be appropriate in addition to claiming SSDI benefits. Contact us at 312-263-6330 or 800-444-1525, or through our online form