While most people know about the disability requirement for Social Security Disability benefits, they may not be aware of the work requirement. SSD is a work-based benefit, meaning it is not available to those who do not work or who have not worked enough.
The SSA explains it sets the work requirement based on work credits. You must have the correct number of work credits and have earned them within the right period to qualify for SSD.
You earn work credits for the money earned through a job. You can earn four total credits each year. The amount you must earn to get a credit will change each year. For 2022, once you earned $1,510, you earned one credit.
The SSA requires that you have a certain number of credits to qualify for SSD benefits. The number of credits you must have varies based on your age. Most people will need to have earned 40 total credits with 20 of those earned in the past 10 years. However, younger workers will have different credit requirements.
It is important to understand the part of the rule that requires recently earned credits. If you have not worked in a while, even if you have enough total credits, you may not have enough recent credits to qualify. It is also possible that you will no longer qualify if you stop working.
Knowing the number of credits you have is important when applying for SSD benefits. You cannot qualify for benefits without meeting the work credit requirements, even if you have a qualifying disability.