How Many Work Credits Do I Need for SSDI Eligibility?
You must have earned enough work credits to have gained insured status in order to be eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance. The units Social Security uses to measure how much claimants have worked are called work credits. In general, one quarter of work is equal to one work credit. To be more specific, in 2013, one work credit was equal to $1160 in work and four work credits was equal to $4640. All four credits (a year's worth of work) can be earned in just one quarter or throughout the year.
Social Security's Recent Work Test is a something you must pass in order to qualify for SSDI benefits. For those at least 31 years of age you must have worked five of the last 10 years (20 of the last 40 quarters). Using the work credit concept, you must have earned 20 credits in the last 10 years before you became disabled. There are, however, special rules for those under 31 years of age that may qualify them for SSDI even if they haven't worked five of the previous 10 years. For those aged 24 to 30, you must have worked at least half of the time that has passed since you turned 21. Similarly, if you're under the age of 24, you must have earned at least six work credits or worked at least 18 months in the last three years before you became disabled.
You must also pass the duration of the work test in order to be eligible for SSDI. Passing this test requires that you have worked a particular number of years based on the age at which you become disabled. To pass this test, your work DOES NOT have to fall within a certain period of time. Find details at http://search.socialsecurity.gov/search?affiliate=ssa&query=work+credits.