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What are Work Credits and How Do They Apply to Disability Benefits?

By Kenton Koszdin on November 2, 2018 | In Social Security Disability

What are Work Credits and How Do They Apply to Disability Benefits?

Work credits are vital when it comes to determining your eligibility for disability benefits. They are even used to determine your eligibility for retirement benefits. But what are they and why are they so important?

What are work credits?

You earn work credits as you earn income and pay social security taxes. The number of work credits you earn depends on the type of work you do, how much you’ve earned, and how much you’ve paid into Social Security. These work credits are then used to determine not only eligibility for disability benefits, but also how much you will be awarded once approved.

How do you earn them?

Work credits are earned through employment income. For example, in 2018, for every $1,320 you earn you receive one work credit. You can only earn a maximum of 4 credits each year. The amount of income required to earn one work credit increases each year due to changes in average earnings. As you earn work credits toward disability benefits, they stay in your record. If you stop working for a while and then go back to work, you keep all previously earned work credits.

There are different rules for various kinds of work. For example, if you are self-employed, the number of work credits you earn is a bit different. It is the same for farm workers and even military personnel. There are even occupations that don’t earn any work credits at all. If you’ve been employed by the railroad for over 10 years, you won’t earn work credits.

Why are they important?

The number of work credits you need to be eligible for disability benefits depends on your age as well as a number of other factors, such as the type of benefits for which you are applying. You will need a different number of work credits whether you are applying for disability benefits or retirement benefits.

Understanding work credits and how they are important to receiving disability benefits is important. However, it can also be a bit confusing. Having a disability lawyer on your side can help you get the benefits you deserve based on the work credits you’ve earned. To learn more about work credits and how they apply to your application for disability benefits, contact Kenton Koszdin for a free consultation.

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