How long you have worked a job and how much you make at work will influence your eligibility for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. Typically, workers need at least 40 credits to get full benefits and will need to have accumulated 20 of those 40 credits within the last 10 years.
However, given that the Social Security Administration (SSA) only allows you to accumulate four credits a year at the most, you could easily get hurt well before you have the 40 credits necessary for SSDI benefits.
Can younger workers and those new to their job still qualify for SSDI benefits?
Younger working adults can qualify on a sliding credit scale
The rules that govern SSDI benefits do recognize the risk that workers who have been on the job less than a decade could suffer permanent and disabling injuries or develop a medical condition that prematurely ends their career.
Once you reach age 31 or older, you need to have at least 20 credits from the last 10 years, but younger workers can qualify with fewer credits. Those under the age of 24 only need to have six credits from within the last three years at the time that their disability begins. Those between the ages of 24 and 31 will typically need to be able to show that they have had a job for half of the time since they turned 21.
Provided that your work history meets these standards, you can qualify for SSDI benefits long before you have had a job for the typical length of time necessary to qualify. Learning more about how SSDI benefits protect younger workers can help those adjusting to life with a disabling medical condition.