Disabled and seeking benefits? A disability attorney in Dunn knows there can be a lot of confusion when it comes to determining eligibility. Not only must you meet the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) definition of disability, but you must also have enough work credits.
Work Credits Needed for Social Security Disability
In order to qualify for disability benefits, you must have worked long enough to have contributed to the Social Security system. That amount is established through the work credits you have earned.
It is figured by taking your income and converting it into credits. The amount necessary changes from one year to the next. In the current year 2012, you will earn one work credit for every $1,130 of earned income.
The number of work credits that must be earned is dependent on your age and when you became disabled. So, although you may qualify at this time, if you were to stop working and in later years became disabled, there is the chance that you would no longer be eligible.
You should also know that you can only earn up to four work credits per year. So for this year, once you have earned $4,520, you have reached the maximum.
Work Tests Determine How Many Work Credits Required
In order to qualify for Social Security disability, you will need to pass a couple of work tests. These help determine the work credits required.
One work test looks at how long you have worked. For instance, if you are between the ages of 21 and 24, you must have worked at least one and a half years and have earned six work credits.
Individuals who are 60 years old and up must have worked for at least 10 years and accrued 40 work credits. SSA can help in determining how long you must have worked based on your age.
The other work test is based on how recently you have worked. Individuals who are younger than 24 must have worked for at least one and a half years in the three year period before becoming disabled.
It is figured a little differently for individuals who are between the ages of 24 and 31. Since turning 21, an individual must have worked for at least half the time between when he or she turned 21 and is applying for benefits. Let’s say you are 27 years old, you must have worked at least three of the past six years.
Individuals who are 31-years-old and up must have worked for at least five of the past 10 years. There are special exceptions given to certain applicants who are blind.
If you don’t qualify for Social Security disability because you haven’t earned enough work credits, there are other programs that may be available. However, these are usually based on a significant financial need.
Contacting a Disability Attorney in Dunn
As you can see, qualifying for Social Security disability benefits goes beyond the diagnosis of a mental or physical condition. This is what can make applying for benefits so complicated. Not only will you need to prove that your medical condition meets the requirements. But you will also need to show that you have worked long enough and recent enough.
Do you have a question about your eligibility? Then contact a disability attorney in Dunn at Brent Adams & Associates. An attorney can help determine if you are entitled to disability and then assist with the complex claims process by ensuring all of your paperwork and documentation is in order. Don’t delay in seeking legal counsel and taking advantage of the opportunity to receive a free consultation. Call our law office today - 800-849-5931 or 910-892-8177.