SSDI, which stands for Social Security Disability Insurance, is a federal program that provides benefits to Gwinnett County workers who become disabled and unable to engage in meaningful employment for at least a year. This program is run by the Social Security Administration (SSA) who has established numerous qualifications for eligibility.
Although there is a great deal of discussion about demonstrating medical qualifications, it is necessary to keep in mind that the agency also imposes work credit requirements. These requirements vary somewhat according to the applicant’s situation. Gwinnett County SSDI work credit requirements are explained below, but it may be helpful to have an experienced SSDI attorney review your case to determine whether you qualify.
Because SSDI is an insurance program, it is designed to pay benefits to workers who have effectively paid insurance premiums through Social Security tax. Therefore, to have adequate work credits to qualify for benefits, the work must be in a position covered by Social Security.
Essentially, if a worker is paying FICA (Federal Insurance Contributions Act) tax regularly, they are paying into the insurance system. Self-employed workers in Gwinnett County who pay self-employment taxes are also covered.
The Social Security Administration requires workers to earn a certain number of work credits to be eligible, and this means working for a long enough period to acquire those credits. A worker earns one SSDI work credit after earning a set amount of money that may change annually. For example, in 2019, an employee must earn $1,360 to acquire one work credit.
However, a worker may only earn four credits per year. This means it will take at least ten years to earn the target level of 40 work credits that the SSA uses to establish eligibility for retirement and SSDI benefits.
However, the number of credits required for benefits varies according to the age of the individual at the onset of the disability. While the full number of work credits for eligibility is 40, the number is less for those who become disabled before the age of 62. An advocate can explain how age will affect SSDI work credit requirements in Gwinnett County.
In addition to acquiring enough work credits during a career, an employee must also have worked sufficiently close to the time of the onset of the disability. Specifically, for a worker with 40 work credits, at least 20 of those credits must have been earned in the ten years before becoming disabled. In other words, an employee must have worked during five of the past ten years.
For workers who are disabled at younger ages, the rules regarding the recent nature of employment are adjusted. For example, a worker who becomes disabled at age 24 must have earned six work credits which equal one and half years of work, and those credits must have been earned in the three years before the onset of the disability.
Many of the rules regarding eligibility for SSDI are complex, and that includes those governing the work credit requirements. While it is reassuring to know that money paid through FICA taxes can support us when we become disabled or reach retirement age, it can be frustrating to determine how and when we become eligible to apply for those benefits.
An SSDI lawyer can provide assistance applying Gwinnett County SSDI work credit requirements to your situation. To learn more, call now.
With offices in Alpharetta, Atlanta and Marietta, we provide legal assistance to people throughout Georgia and the Southeast in all matters of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
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