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Work Credits

The question of whether you have enough work credits to qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance should not be overlooked in the process of obtaining Social Security disability benefits. Work credits are a way of measuring that you have worked long enough in a time period that is recent enough to get coverage for benefits.

If you can no longer work, an attorney from Lawrence & Associates Accident and Injury Lawyers, LLC will review your case to determine if you have enough work credits to qualify for SSDI to put you on the path to effectively pursuing your disability benefits.

The Greater Cincinnati Social Security disability attorneys at Lawrence & Associates Accident and Injury Lawyers, LLC have represented numerous individuals and handled matters involving work credits in Social Security disability cases. Over time, we have built up expertise to help individuals like you in obtaining Social Security benefits.

Do I Need a Cincinnati Social Security Disability Lawyer?

You might be wondering how you will determine if you have enough work credits to qualify for Social Security disability benefits and how you will be able to afford to pay an attorney to make this determination, especially if you have not been able to work because of your disability.

Work credits come into play in many of our cases, and we are familiar with the calculations required to assist anyone in the Greater Cincinnati area with determining where they stand with work credits. A Social Security disability attorney does not need to be paid up front for their services. Instead, under federal law, all attorneys’ fees are set at 25 percent of the total Social Security award for back pay, which is limited to $6,000. If an attorney performs tasks to determine your work credit status, it would be included in that amount.

Why Choose Lawrence & Associates Accident and Injury Lawyers, LLC to Handle My Case?

The attorneys at Lawrence & Associates Accident and Injury Lawyers, LLC have a track record of high-quality client service and results with Social Security disability cases. Getting the compensation our clients deserve is what motivates us to aggressively represent each one. We have helped many clients in the Greater Cincinnati area with successful work credit and disability issues. We know the process can be frustrating and confusing at times, and our experienced attorneys and staff are available to answer all your questions so that you understand each step along the way.

Many clients express that they have had a positive experience in working with the individual attorneys at Lawrence & Associates Accident and Injury Lawyers, LLC. If you are in the Greater Cincinnati area, we will treat you and your case with the utmost respect, aggressively pursuing the best possible results.

Types of Cases We Handle

You may be wondering whether we are available to take on your Social Security disability case with a work credit issue. Each disability case is unique, but work credits are a common factor, and we have the bandwidth and experience to help with your work credit issue. The following is a list of the disabilities that we see most often in work credit cases:

  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • ALS/Lou Gehrig’s disease
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Cancer
  • Meniere’s Disease
  • Spinal Stenosis
  • Tertiary syphilis
  • Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome
  • Seizures
  • Schizophrenia
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Sjogren’s Syndrome
  • Speech Delay
  • Mosaic Down Syndrome
  • Crohn’s Disease
  • Autism
  • Kienbock’s Disease
  • Edema
  • Stroke
  • Complex Regional Pain Syndrome

This list is not all-inclusive, and we’ve handled many unique cases. If you have questions about work credits or the Social Security disability process overall, contact an experienced Social Security disability lawyer at Lawrence & Associates Accident and Injury Lawyers, LLC with your questions.

Frequently Asked Questions About Work Credits

Have questions about work credits? Turn to our experienced Social Security disability attorneys for help with specific questions, and read some of our Frequently Asked Questions below:

At a basic level, work credits determine whether you are eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). Because it is a form of insurance, you need to have made enough payments into the system to be able to take benefits out of the system. A work credit is merely a way to measure how many of the payments you have made to qualify. Calculating work credits are fairly simple, but without someone to guide you through the process, you might not be aware of all of your options. That’s where the attorneys at Lawrence & Associates Accident and Injury Lawyers, LLC come in and can make a big difference in your case.
The question of how long you need to work depends on your age. Essentially, you get one credit for every quarter of a year in which you have worked enough, and you can get a maximum of four credits per year. In 2019, to get one credit, you need to work enough to earn $1,360 in a quarter. As a general rule, you will typically need to have earned 20 work credits, which translates to five years of work. However, as mentioned, your age plays a factor. No one needs more than 40 credits, or ten years of work, to qualify. Here is a breakdown based on age:
  • Under age 24: Qualify by having six credits earned in the three years before your disability.
  • Age 24 to 31: Qualify by having credit for working half of the time from age 21 until your disability starts. If you become disabled at 29 years old, you need credit for four out of the previous eight years, which equals 16 credits.
  • Age 31 or older: Qualify by having a certain number of work credits, which varies depending on your age and years of work. Generally, you must have earned at least 20 credits during the 10 years before your disability occurred.
The following table provides the total work credits and/or years of work needed based on age:
Age DisabledCredits NeededYears of Work
Under 2461.5
Be sure to check the Social Security Administration's website for up-to-date information about work credit requirements as the numbers are subject to change every year.
Usually, working full time for most of the past ten years will provide you with enough work credits to be eligible for SSDI. If you are over 31 years old, typically you must have worked at least five of the past ten years for the work to be recent enough. If you believe that you may have a unique situation, do not hesitate to call one and speak with a knowledgeable Social Security disability benefits representative at Lawrence & Associates Accident and Injury Lawyers, LLC.
If you do not have enough work credits to qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance, it is important to realize that the need for work credits is limited to the SSDI context. Even if you do not have enough work credits, you may be able to qualify for Supplemental Security Income. SSI is available for people with disabilities, people without any assets, and people without a consistent work history or no work history at all. Talk to an attorney from Lawrence & Associates Accident and Injury Lawyers, LLC to determine what you may qualify for and which option would serve you best.
No. SSDI is designed to work based on the concept that workers pay their share of payments into the system before they can receive benefits, so it is not a need-based program. Family income can vary, but as long as you have enough work credits, you may be eligible for benefits if you meet specific disability criteria set by the Social Security Administration.
After a disabled person who was receiving SSDI benefits passes away, the benefits he or she was receiving can be obtained by the person’s dependents. The dependents can include a spouse, children, and, potentially, elderly dependent parents. Work credits come into play in determining the eligibility of family members to receive benefits. Again, the younger the person is when he or she dies, the lower the number of work credits required. Ten years of work (40 credits) is still the maximum number needed. A disabled individual’s benefits are paid to survivors at the person’s death without having to figure out the number of work credits a second time.

Work Credit Statistics

Outside of medical ineligibility, the most common reason a claim for Social Security disability benefits is denied is that a person has too few recent work credits. A consultation with one of our attorneys can help you understand where you stand with regard to work credits and your case for disability benefits.

Get in Touch Now

If you have made the decision to obtain Social Security disability benefits or are still undecided, Lawrence & Associates Accident and Injury Lawyers, LLC can help you better understand the process. Call us at (513) 351-5997 or contact us online to schedule a consultation. We look forward to assisting you in your Social Security disability benefits matter, whether it involves work credit issues or other factors.

Last Updated : February 15, 2019
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