Your work history plays a significant role in determining your eligibility for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. These two programs are designed to provide financial assistance to individuals who are unable to work due to a disability.
Qualifying for SSDI w/ Work Credits
To qualify for SSDI, you must have a certain amount of work credits, which are based on your earnings and the amount of time you have spent working. The exact number of credits required varies depending on your age and the date you became disabled, but generally speaking, you will need to have worked for at least five of the ten years prior to becoming disabled.
In addition to having enough work credits, you must also have a qualifying disability. This means that your condition must be severe enough to prevent you from performing any type of work, and it must be expected to last for at least one year or result in death. The Social Security Administration (SSA) uses a strict definition of disability, so it’s important to have medical documentation to support your claim.
What if You Don’t Have Enough Work Credits?
If you don’t have enough work credits to qualify for SSDI, you may still be able to receive SSI benefits. This program is based on financial need, so your income and assets will be taken into account when determining your eligibility. Unlike SSDI, there are no work credit requirements for SSI.
It’s important to keep in mind that your work history will be taken into account not only when determining your eligibility for benefits but also when deciding how much you will receive. The SSA uses a formula to calculate your benefit amount, and this formula takes into account your average lifetime earnings before you became disabled. In other words, the more you have worked and earned in the past, the higher your benefit amount will be.
If you are unable to work due to a disability, it’s important to consider all of your options, including applying for SSDI and SSI benefits. Your work history plays a significant role in the eligibility and benefit determination process, so it’s important to gather all of the necessary documentation and work with a disability attorney to help you through the process. With the right support, you can secure the financial assistance you need to help you and your family during this difficult time.