Work credits are your gateway to social security. You earn work credits when you earn sufficient income to translate into a work credit each year, with a limitation of only 4 work credits each year. The amount you earn and the social taxes you pay, enables you to qualify for social security claims when needed.
The number of credits you need to qualify may not always be 40. It also depends on your age and the age in which you become disabled.
How do you earn one work credit?
The Social Security Administration, SSA calculates your work credits based on your income wages and the amount of social security taxes you pay each year. Your wage actually translates into work credits until you have reached a maximum of 40 credits needed at your retirement age (62 or above).
The amount required to earn one work credit is $1360 in 2019, an increase of $40 from year 2018 which was $1320. This means that in 2019, an earning amount of $1360 would translate into one work credit with a maximum of 4 work credits that could be earned each year. Hence to earn a total of 4 work credits in a year, you would need to earn at least $5440 in 2019.
Although the rules stated above may stay the same for working people, it may have some relaxation for younger people, survivors of a spouse who had less work credits, veterans, children or people who don’t have retirement benefits.
SSDI eligibility for people between 31 to 42
People born after the year 1929, and between the age 31 to 42 may only need up to 23 work credits as long as half of those credits were earned within the last half of their working years followed up by the disability. For instance, if you are 38 and earned $15000 in the last 10 years, then $7500 need to have been earned within the last 5 years after which you became disabled.
Although not all jobs may qualify for social security benefits, self-employed people may always earn work credits translated through the same process as long they are earning within the federal rules. Also, you can only earn up to 4 work credits each year no matter how much you earn above that amount (as stated above).
Military people or veterans would also qualify for work credits the same way as civilians do – although some may even earn extra credits depending on their situation and the SSA’s decision.
For people with unconventional occupations or jobs that aren’t listed in the social security disability occupational lists, you would need to contact a Social Security Examiner from the SSA or a social security attorney to provide you legal guidance. Also, it is imperative to note that even if these jobs are unconventional, it doesn’t eliminate you fully from qualifying for social security. There are always exceptions and these jobs may include but are not limited to:
- Poultry workers;
- Truck drivers;
- Domestic work;
- Working for a church;
- Working for an organization or a non-governmental organization, NGO that doesn’t pay social security taxes;
Whatever your case, you may contact our social security attorney for more queries.