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How much work history do you need to qualify for SSD benefits?

On Behalf of | Jun 19, 2015 | Social Security Disability Benefits

There is quite a bit of information that goes into an application for Social Security Disability benefits. This is because the applicant must provide sufficient medical documentation to show that the disability is due to a qualifying medical condition. In addition, the applicant must show evidence that the disability is severe enough that the condition will last for at least a year.

Previous posts here have covered many of the challenges people face when they attempt to fulfill these medical requirements. But, there is another part of the application that can sometimes be overlooked: showing the appropriate amount of work history.

How much work history do you need to qualify for SSD benefits? The answer could be different for just about anyone. However, typically an applicant will need to show that they have earned the appropriate amount of “work credits.” What are work credits? Well, they are earned by working at a job for a designated period of time and earning a designated amount of income. A person earns one credit by earning $1,220 in wages.

A worker can earn up to four work credits in a year. The appropriate amount of work credits needed to qualify to earn SSD benefits is usually 40. Half of those work credits typically need to be earned in the 10 years preceding the occurrence of the disability. However, there are exceptions.

The Social Security Administration carefully screens applicants for SSD benefits. Putting all of the appropriate information in the application the first time is usually the best chance to get approved to receive SSD benefits. Anyone in Los Angeles who is applying for Social Security disability benefits should understand all of the legal steps that the process entails.

Source:, “Disability Planner: How Much Work Do You Need?,” Accessed June 14, 2015

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