Are stay at home parents eligible for Social Security disability benefits?

Stay at home parents do important work. Back in 2011, Forbes argued that stay at home moms should earn about $115,000 annually for their work as daycare providers, drivers, housekeepers, and for the other services that they provide to their families. Of course, there is no one to pay stay at home parents what they are worth and the position is not financiallyProtecting Your Rights to Social Security Benefits compensated.

When a stay at home parent becomes disabled, however, families quickly learn just how much it can cost to replace the services a stay at home parent was performing. If the stay at home parent is no longer able to handle the childcare and perform the household duties like she did prior to becoming disabled, then the costs to the family can quickly add up.

Social Security Disability May Be an Option for Some Stay at Home Parents

Whether or not you are eligible for Social Security disability benefits will depend on how many work credits you have acquired and other factors. Generally, you may acquire a total of four work credits every year. The amount of money that you have to earn to acquire a Social Security work credit varies from year to year. In 2018, you could earn one work credit for every $1,320 you earned up to a maximum of four credits if you earned $5,280 or more for the year.

The Social Security Administration then considers your work credits, when you earned those credits, and your age to determine if you may be eligible for Social Security disability. Specifically:

  • If you are under the age of 24 then you need six credits that you earned in the three year period prior to becoming disabled.
  • If you are between the ages of 24 and 31 then you may qualify if you earned half of the maximum credits possible from the time you were 21 until the time you became disabled.
  • If you are between the ages of 31 and 42 then you need 20 credits.
  • If you are 43 years old then you need 21 credits.
  • If you are 44 years old then you need 22 credits.
  • If you are 45 years old then you need 23 credits.
  • If you are 46 years old then you need 24 credits.
  • If you are 47 years old then you need 25 credits.
  • If you are 48 years old then you need 26 credits.
  • If you are 49 years old then you need 27 credits.
  • If you are 50 years old then you need 28 credits.
  • If you are 51 years old then you need 29 credits.
  • If you are 52 years old then you need 30 credits.
  • If you are 53 years old then you need 31 credits.
  • If you are 54 years old then you need 32 credits.
  • If you are 55 years old then you need 33 credits.
  • If you are 56 years old then you need 34 credits.
  • If you are 57 years old then you need 35 credits.
  • If you are 58 years old then you need 36 credits.
  • If you are 59 years old then you need 37 credits.
  • If you are 60 years old then you need 38 credits.
  • If you are 61 years old then you need 39 credits.
  • If you are 62 years old or older than you need 40 credits.

These work credits must be earned within a certain amount of time of filing for Social Security disability. The exact amount of time depends on your age.

It is important to remember that work credits are only one factor in determining eligibility for Social Security disability. If you have earned enough work credits to be eligible for disability benefits then you will still need to prove to the Social Security Administration that you are disabled.

How to Protect Your Right to Receive Fair Social Security Disability Benefits

If you have worked at paying jobs long enough and recently enough to qualify for Social Security disability benefits, then being a stay at home parent should not be a barrier to your receipt of fair benefits. For help getting the benefits that you deserve, please contact a Board Certified Social Security disability lawyer. We would be happy to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with you to review your claim and, if appropriate, talk about how we can help you get the benefits that you’ve earned and that can help your family during this difficult time.