How long do I need to work until I am eligible to apply for SSDI?

On Behalf of | Feb 29, 2020 | SSDI

Applying for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits requires having earned at least 40 work credits throughout your career. Of those credits, however, you must have earned 20 within the past 10 years. Your annual income determines the amount of credits that you may earn. 

For every year that you work, you may earn four work credits, which is the maximum. To receive the maximum credits for the year 2020, the total amount of income you need to earn is $5,640. If you work part-time or expect to earn self-employment income, you may calculate one credit for each time your earnings add up to $1,410. 

Jobs that do not provide SSDI eligibility  

Some individuals mistakenly believe that working at any job for a certain period of time will allow them to apply for and receive SSDI benefits. While the majority of companies contribute to the SSDI fund through payroll taxes, some do not. Working for one of these employers makes an employee ineligible to apply for benefits. 

Positions that prohibit an employee from applying for SSDI benefits include local and state government jobs and certain federal government jobs that did not contribute payroll taxes before 1984. Employees who have worked at railroad companies for more than 10 years are also ineligible. 

Requirements to prove SSDI permanent disability benefits 

When an injury or medical condition prohibits your ability to continue working, you may require SSDI. In order to receive benefits, you must prove that you suffer from an illness or a disability covered by SSDI that will last for at least one year. As reported by AARP, a diagnosis of a terminal illness may help speed up the application process.