Available 24/7 To Better Serve Troops Overseas - 1-866-350-7229
SSDI and Work Credits Blog header

Work Credits and SSDI

To qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits, you need to have worked a certain amount of years. The Social Security Administration (SSA) uses work credits to quantify the amount of years you have worked. To understand SSDI eligibility, you must understand work credits.

What are Work Credits?

Work credits are a measurement tool used by the SSA to track employment history and determine eligibility for SSDI. 

In 2024, 1 work credit is earned for every $1,730 you make while working. You can earn up to 4 work credits per year. 

To earn these 4 credits, you would need to make a minimum of $6,920 in annual income.

Work Credits and SSDI

To be considered eligible for SSDI, you are generally required to have at least 40 work credits, 20 of which have been earned in the last 10 years. 

Meaning, you would need to have worked, at a minimum, 5 out of the last 10 years. This is an important rule that many are often unaware of when applying for SSDI. Regardless of how many years you have worked in the past, without recent work history, you are not eligible for SSDI.

While 40 credits is the typical requirement, age does factor into how many credits you need to apply for SSDI. Below is a breakdown of work credits required by age. 

18-23: SSDI applicants under the age 24 must have at least 6 work credits, and the credits need to have been earned within a 3 year span. 

24-30: To qualify for SSDI, applicants between the ages 24 to 30 must have worked for at least half of the time period between their current age and age 21. For example, a 25 year old must have worked at least 2.5 years, or have 10 work credits. 

31-42: Applicants between the ages of 31 to 42 must have at least 20 work credits. 

43-61: Once past age 42, the amount of credits you require increases by 2 for every 2 years. For example, a 44 year old would need 22 credits, 46 would need 24, and so on. 

62+: Applicants age 62 and older would need 40 work credits. 

Checking Your Work History

Unsure of how many work credits you have? Checking is fairly simple, as the SSA tracks your work credits for you. 

To find your work credit amount:

-Visit the Social Security website SSA.gov

-Login to your My SSA account, or create one of you do not have one My SSA

-Find the “Eligibility and Earnings” tab

Other SSDI Requirements

Work history is an important factor in SSDI eligibility, but it is not the only requirement.

To receive SSDI benefits you need to have sufficient medical evidence of your disability, and you must be earning under the 2024 SGA limit of $1,550 per month.

Are you ready to start your claim? Click here for a free, online evaluation. Or, you can call our office and speak directly with one of our SSDI specialists at 888-474-1025.