Social Security disability benefits help people who are unable to work as a result of a disability. These benefits help people who have limited options when it comes to earning enough money to pay for their everyday expenses. These disabilities can be the result of either a serious injury or illness, but must keep a person from being able to perform any substantial work.
However, in order to qualify for these benefits strict requirements must be met. If people cannot prove that these requirements have been met, they may be denied coverage.
This happened, for example, to a woman suffering from ALS. As a recent blog post highlighted, the Social Security Administration claimed that the woman did not have enough work credits to qualify for benefits.
Under SSDI rules, people must have enough work credits to qualify for SSDI. Work credits, according to the SSA, are earned based on the amount of time a person works and how much money a person makes. In general, people need to have 40 work credits in order to qualify for SSDI benefits. At least half of these work credits — 20 credits — have to have been earned in the 10 years prior to the year the person became disabled.
The amount of money a person must earn before accumulating a work credit changes over time. According to the SSA, in 2014, a person earned a work credit for every $1,200 in wages the person earned. This money could be from self-employment income or from wages. However, SSA rules cap the number of work credits a person can earn per year at four.
When people need SSDI benefits they should ensure that all requirements have been met. An attorney may help to explain these requirements to those in need.