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A closer look at the work history requirement for SSD benefits

This blog recently discussed the two main components to qualify for Social Security disability (SSD) benefits, including the medical condition requirement and the work history requirement. Understanding both is important and taking a closer look at the work history requirement can be helpful.

The work history requirement entails that the disabled applicant has worked in jobs covered by Social Security disability. In addition to the work history requirement, the disabled individual must also meet the medical condition requirement which requires that they suffer from a medical condition severe enough it prevents them from working and is expected to last for greater than a year.

The work history requirement requires that the disabled applicant has worked long enough but also recently enough in a job or jobs that are covered by Social Security disability. Eligibility is based on the number of work credits the disabled applicant has earned. A total of four credits can be earned per year and they are based on annual wages from a job covered by Social Security disability or self-employment income. The amount needed to earn a work credit changes annually.

In general, the number of work credits needed is based on when the disabled individual became disabled. Disabled individuals will typically need a total of 40 work credits 20 of which were earned in the preceding 10 years ending with the year the disabled applicant became disabled. Because of how important SSD benefits are to many disabled individuals and their families, and the complexities associated with applying for benefits, it is beneficial for disabled individuals to understand the process as much as possible to help them with a successful application for benefits.

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