What Are the Work Credit Requirements for Receiving SSDI Benefits?

At Second Chance Lawyer, as SSDI attorneys, Merryl Jones is often asked what the different work credit requirements are for receiving SSDI benefits. To receive your SSDI benefits, there are some minimal requirements you’ll need to meet, so we’ve collected them here for your benefit. These are guidelines for reference, and it is important to note that there are exceptions to every rule and the requirements can change from year to year.

If you’re thinking of filing for SSDI benefits, here are the current work credit requirements you need to have in order for your application to be approved.

Work Credit Requirements Vary By Age

 You might not be aware, but the work credit requirements necessary to receive SSDI benefits vary by age. For younger people who want to apply for SSDI benefits, the work credit requirements from the Social Security Administration (SSA) can be fairly stringent. However, the SSA offsets this by reducing the recent work requirements for younger claimants over the required period of time. For example, for those who are only 50 and are disabled, they only need 28 work credits. At least 20 of these credits need to have been earned over the past decade prior to their disability.

Default Work Credit Requirements

Although the work credit requirements necessary to receive SSDI benefits do vary by age, there are also default requirements. Firstly, the claimant needs to fall into the SSA’s category of being disabled; they’ll also need to have earned enough work credits in order to apply. These credits come from working and paying Social Security taxes. The default amount of work credits required to receive SSDI insurance are at least 40, with a minimum of 20 being earned in the last 10 years.

In 2021, for every $1,470 in annual earnings, you’ll receive one work credit, and a claimant can only earn up to four credits per year. These work credits will only affect your eligibility to receive SSDI benefits, not the amount of the benefits you’ll receive.


Contact an SSDI attorney today!

Applying for and receiving the SSDI benefits you deserve can be a complicated process. It’s always best to work with an experienced SSDI attorney, like the team from Second Chance Lawyer. To learn more about applying for SSDI benefits, contact us online today or call (254) 776-3611 (Waco) or (254) 493-0345 (Temple).