In order to obtain Social Security disability benefits, several federal requirements must be met. Perhaps most obviously, an individual must be able to prove that he or she suffers from a medical condition or injury that is severe enough to qualify as a disability. But there are other requirements that must be met before a claim can succeed.
For example, an individual will be denied SSD benefits unless he or she has the requisite work experience. To determine whether one has worked enough, and recently enough, to qualify, the Social Security Administration utilizes Social Security work credits. Credits are earned based on yearly income, and an individual can earn up to four credits per year. But how much does one need to earn to obtain a credit? To acquire one Social Security work credit in 2016, an individual must earn $1,260. Therefore, if $5,040 or more is made in a year, then the maximum of four credits is earned.
The number of credits needed to qualify for benefits depends on the age of the applicant. Typically speaking, though, an individual needs 40 credits, half of which must have been earned within the last 10 years. However, since this is based on one's age, a disabled individual should be sure to research how many credits, exactly, he or she needs to be able to qualify for SSD benefits.
As mentioned above, this is just one of the many convoluted, detailed, and oftentimes hotly contested issues that may arise when seeking Social Security disability benefits. Those who wish to file a claim or appeal a denial may thus want to speak with a legal professional who may be able to help them make strong legal arguments to support their claim.
Source: Social Security Administration, "Disability Planner: How Much Work Do You Need?" accessed on March 21, 2016