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Understanding the work credit requirements for SSD benefits

There are a number of requirements that must be satisfied for an individual in Philadelphia to receive Social Security disability benefits. For example, the individual must meet the Social Security Administration’s definition of what constitutes a disability. In general, this means the individual cannot perform the job duties they did before becoming disabled, nor can they perform any other type of work. In addition, the disability must have lasted or is expected to last at least twelve months.

Moreover, in addition to satisfying the SSA’s definition of disability, there are work credit requirements. In general, Social Security work credits are based on the individual’s annual income. It is possible for individuals to accumulate up to four work credits annually. The amount of income needed to earn a work credit changes every year. For example, in 2016 an individual will earn a single work credit for every $1,260 they earn. Once an individual has worked enough to make $5,040, they will have accumulated their four annual work credits.

How many work credits a person needs to accumulate to qualify forSSD benefits is dependent on how old the individual is and when their disability occurred. In general, an individual needs to have accumulated 40 work credits, half of which were accumulated within the previous 10 years before the individual became disabled. However, it may be possible for some younger individuals to qualify for SSD benefits with fewer work credits in some circumstances. It is also important to note that if an individual meets the requirements for SSD benefits now, but stops working under Social Security, they may not meet the work credit requirement in the future.

Understanding the requirements for qualifying for SSD benefits is not always easy. This post cannot replace the advice of a professional, nor can it be used as the basis for an application for benefits. Ultimately, when applying for SSD benefits it may be useful for individuals to seek legal advice before continuing.

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Pennsylvania Bar Association Philadelphia Bar Co-Chair SSD Committee Philadelphia Bar Co-Chair SSD Committee