The Social Security Administration (SSA) manages two major forms of disability benefits. Both Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits are under the control of the SSA.
Even children who have never worked can qualify for SSI in some cases, but getting SSD can be more difficult. Applicants who need SSD because of a recent injury or diagnosis have to meet certain medical standards, much like an applicant for SSI. They also have to have sufficient work history to qualify for benefits.
How long will you need to work in order to claim SSD?
Workers typically need more than a decade of work history
You contribute to Social Security via taxes every time your employer issues a paycheck or you submit your quarterly self-employment taxes. The SSA awards you credits for the income that you earn.
Every year, you can earn up to four credits. Typically, you need 40 credits to claim full SSD benefits because of a disabling medical condition. You will need to have accumulated at least twenty of those credits in the last 10 years, at least if you are 31 years of age or older when you apply.
However, people can suffer disabling injuries when they haven’t even been old enough to work for a decade. Younger employees can still qualify for disability benefits with fewer contributions to Social Security. You can potentially verify the number of credits you have and the kind of benefits you might receive by checking your account with the SSA.
Learning more about the basics of SSD benefits can make applying a little bit easier.