Understanding earned credits and Social Security disability

On Behalf of | Sep 11, 2015 | Social Security Disability

Social Security disability is one of the many benefits available for people in Osceola County who have paid into the program. To be eligible to receive disability benefits, federal regulations require that the applicant have earned credits. This is true when the applicant is seeking benefits for a disability, retirement or for a family to receive survivors benefits.

The number of credits that are awarded generally changes every year and depends on how much is paid in. In 2015, for example, for every $1,220 that a person earns, they get one credit allocated. A person can earn a maximum of four credits every year. The amount required to receive credits rises on an annual basis as average earnings amount rises. Even those who have changed their jobs or not had earnings for a period will have the credits they accrued if and when they need them.

There are different rules for certain kinds of jobs. A person who is self-employed can earn credits in the same way that a person who works for someone else does. If the net annual earnings are less than $400, there will be special rules. There are also special rules for those who do domestic work, farm work, or work for a church that pays no taxes to Social Security. The number of credits required for disability benefits is contingent on the person’s age.

If the claimant is disabled before reaching the age of 24, it is generally required that he or she will have worked for at least one year-and-a-half and have six credits in the three years prior to becoming disabled. For someone between 24 and 30, there must be credits for half the time between age 21 and the time in which the disability occurred. For someone 31 or older, it is generally required to have a minimum of 20 credits in the ten years prior to becoming disabled.

When seeking SSD benefits, a claimant must have a grasp on the earned credits issue. For more information about earned credits and its requirements, an experienced Social Security lawyer can help.

Source: SSA.gov, “How You Earn Credits,” accessed on Sept. 6, 2015


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