Do You Qualify?
To qualify for Social Security disability benefits, you must first have worked in jobs covered by Social Security. Really, this means that you worked at jobs where taxes were withheld to pay Social Security taxes. By doing so you earn what are called “work credits.”
You must have worked and paid Social Security taxes for a certain length of time to get Social Security benefits. The amount of time you need to work depends on your date of birth, but no one needs more than 10 years of work (40 credits). In 2018, if your net earnings are $5,280 or more, you earn the yearly maximum of four credits — one credit for each $1,320 of earnings during the year. If your net earnings are less than $5,280, you still may earn credit by using the optional method described later in this fact sheet. We use all your earnings covered by Social Security to figure your Social Security benefit, so, report all earnings up to the maximum, as required by law.
Then you must have a medical condition that meets Social Security’s definition of disability. In general, we pay monthly cash benefits to people who are unable to work for a year or more because of a disability.
Benefits usually continue until you are able to work again on a regular basis. There are also a number of special rules, called “work incentives,” that provide continued benefits and health care coverage to help you make the transition back to work.
If you are receiving Social Security disability benefits when you reach full retirement age, your disability benefits automatically convert to retirement benefits, but the amount remains the same.
To get a no-obligation review of your situation, call us at 866-LAW-FIRM or fill out the Disability Claim Evaluation form below. A representative will contact you within one business day.