Have I Worked Enough to Qualify for Disability Benefits?
In America, we have a program in place that awards funding to individuals that are unable to work due to age or circumstances or are retired. This system, the Social Security program, does have other requirements of its beneficiaries however, one of which is that they had to have worked a certain amount in the past to qualify for benefits in the present. If you are seeking short or long term disability benefits through the Social Security or other federal programs, the question may arise as to whether or not you have worked long enough to qualify.
The answer to this has nothing to do with time or how long a person has worked, but rather how much he or she has earned. Social Security work credits do have a maximum accruement of four a year, however a person may earn less if he or she has earned less. The amount required to earn a credit varies from year to year. This makes sense when you consider that the SSI program sustains itself on people putting money into the system and then taking it out when needed.
The number of required credits to collect disability does however depend on the age of the individual. Younger workers may qualify with fewer credits, but in generally 40 credits are needed. Of those 40, 20 of them must have been earned within the previous 10 years before the individual became disabled. This means that even if a person works a lot when younger, he or she may not qualify if that individual does not work for a long enough time before desiring to collect.
If you or someone you know is having trouble qualifying for Social Security or disability benefits, there may still be options. To help you explore these options, it is best to speak with an attorney that is familiar with this area of law. To learn about how we at the Franco Law Firm can serve you in this way, please feel free to call us anytime at (813) 872-0929.