In order to be eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits when a disability prevents you from working, you need to have paid into the system. You pay into the system when you earn money and pay Social Security taxes on it. Work credits are used to determine if you have paid enough in to become eligible for benefits.
A Los Angeles disability benefits attorney can provide you with personalized advice on whether you have earned enough work credits to obtain benefits. You should contact an attorney as soon as you become disabled to find out how to get Social Security Disability Insurance to pay you income you need when you cannot work.
What Does a Work Credit Mean for Social Security Disability
If you apply for SSDI, you need to prove you have earned a sufficient number of work credits before you can potentially be eligible to receive benefits -- provided you are sufficiently disabled.
Work credits are earned when you earn a certain amount of income that Social Security taxes is paid on. The specific amount of money you need to earn in order to get a work credit varies from year to year. In 2018, one work credit is earned for every $1,320 in wages or self-employment income that you pay taxes on.
You can earn a maximum of four work credits over the course of a year. As of 2018, after you have earned $5,280, you've earned your maximum four work credits and can't earn any more for the year no matter how much additional income you earn.
If you do not have enough work credits, based on your age at the time when you become disabled, you cannot get SSDI benefits. However, you might be able to obtain Supplemental Security Income (SSI), which also provides benefits to the disabled. SSI is means-tested, so your eligibility will be determined based on whether you have too much income or too many assets.
A Los Angeles disability benefits lawyer can help you to determine if you're eligible for SSI or SSDI, so contact an attorney today.