Social Security Disability Work Credits

Social Security Disability Work CreditsSocial Security Disability Work Credits:

There are so many hoops to jump through before even being eligible for SSD, let alone proving you have a meritorious case. One of the most confusing can be the “work credits” requirement. It is first important to understand what a work credit is. Each year, SSA determines how much money you need to make in a year to get the maximum 4 credits you can earn per year. For 2013 you receive one credit for each $1,160.00 earned. This means, as long as you work make a very minimal amount each year, you will be earning the maximum 4 credits yearly. As such, the question basically becomes how long you have been working at a minimal level. So that is how you earn a credit. But how many credits do you need? This question depends on the age you were at the onset of your disability

Before age 24: You need 6 work credits within the 3 year period before your application. This basically equals 1.5 years of work.

Ages 24-31: If you have worked half the time between the age of 21 and the date of the onset of your disability you are eligible. This means you need between

31 and older use this chart:

Born after 1929, Became Disabled At Age 

Number of Credits You Need

31 through 42




















62 or older


*there are some exceptions if you are blind.

This test is called the “durational worker test”. If you pass that, move on to the “recent worker” test. The recent worker test requires that you work approximately 5 of the 10 years prior to you leaving the workforce as a result of your disability. To be more precise, the SSA divides the year into quarters

First quarter: January 1 through March 31

Second quarter: April 1 through June 30

Third quarter: July 1 through September 30

Fourth quarter: October 1 through December 31

Just as in the durational worker test, there are concessions for if you are young.

Disability onset:

In or before the quarter you turn age 24: You need 1.5 years of work during the three-year period ending with the quarter your disability began.

In the quarter after you turn age 24 but before the quarter you turn age 31: Work during half the time for the period beginning with the quarter after you turned 21 and ending with the quarter you became disabled is sufficient.

For help calculating your work credits and whether you are eligible for Social Security Disability, you can contact an experienced attorney. Call us at (248) 398-7100  for a free consultation or contact us with a private message.

How much will my attorney fees be?

Attorney fees in Social Security cases are based on a percentage of the amount recovered capped by a maximum fee amount established by the Social Security Administration. The Social Security Administration must approve any attorney fee requests. Call us at (248) 398-7100  for a free consultation or contact us with a private message.