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How long do you need to work to qualify for SSDI benefits?

On Behalf of | Jul 31, 2021 | SSDI

When a doctor diagnoses you with cancer or you suffer a severe brain injury in a car crash, your career may quickly come to an end. In fact, you may also find yourself struggling to live independently without support from family members or even medical professionals in your home.

Thankfully, working adults can potentially apply for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits to help them when they can’t work because of a medical condition. There are multiple criteria that your claim will need to meet in order for you to receive benefits.

In addition to demonstrating the impact of the condition, you will also need to work for long enough for your payroll contributions to Social Security to qualify you for benefits. How long must you work in order to qualify?

You become eligible based on how many credits you accrue

The Social Security Administration (SSA) will add a credit to your account each time you earn a certain amount of money. They adjust that amount to reflect inflation and other changing economic circumstances. Currently, you can receive one credit for each $1,470 of work income.

You will need to accrue at least 40 credits to qualify for SSDI benefits. However, you cannot accrue all 40 credits in one year. Instead, the SSA limits you to 4 credits accrued each year.

Generally, that means you will need to work for at least 10 years to qualify for benefits. When you do apply, you will also need to have accrued at least 20 of those credits in the last 10 years.

The better you understand the nuances of the SSDI program, the easier it will be for you to determine if you qualify.