Understanding the non medical requirements for SSDI benefits is as important as understanding what medical conditions qualify for disability. In this blog post, we’ll briefly review the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program and its work credit (non-medical) requirements.
SSDI Benefits Overview
SSDI is a work-based, Federal disability insurance program for individuals who can no longer work due to a severe medical impairment. To meet Social Security’s definition of disability, an individual’s medical impairment must last or be expected to last for at least 12 months or be terminal in nature. Additionally, an individual’s medical impairment must prevent them from working at substantial (full-time) levels.
Individuals pay into the SSDI system via their FICA taxes. Most workers have FICA taxes withheld directly from their paychecks. These deductions claim 6.2 percent of an employee’s gross pay for Social Security, up to an income threshold commonly termed “maximum taxable earnings.” In 2022, the threshold is $147,000.
Social Security Disability Non Medical Requirements
To determine if you meet the non-medical requirements for SSDI benefits, SSA will review your employment history. To do this, they will examine your work credits and the amount of money you have contributed to the SSDI program in past via your FICA taxes.
A work credit is a method SSA uses to quantify total yearly wages or self-employment income. You can earn up to four credits each year and the amount needed for a work credit changes year to year. According to the SSA, in 2022, workers earn one credit for each $1,510 in wages or self-employment income. When you earn $6,040, you’ve earned your four work credits for the year.
The number of work credits you need to qualify for disability benefits depends on your age when your disability begins. Generally, you need 40 credits, 20 of which were earned in the last 10 years ending with the year your disability begins. However, younger workers may qualify with fewer credits as illustrated in the chart below.
|AGE DISABILITY BEGAN
|SSDI WORK CREDIT REQUIREMENT
|6 work credits earned in 3 years prior to disability onset date
|24 – 31
|8 to 18 work credits earned in half the time between age 21 and
disability onset date
|20 work credits earned in last 10 years
SSDI Work Credits and FICA Taxes
SSA calculates an individual’s work credits based on the amount of earnings withheld in FICA taxes. If your employer did not withhold FICA taxes and you did not pay them, you may have trouble qualifying for SSDI.
Individuals who do not meet the non-medical requirements for SSDI may qualify for the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program. This is a needs-based program, and individuals must meet strict income and resource requirements to qualify.
Disability Lawyers in Greensboro, NC
This content was provided by Collins Price, PLLC. Our disability lawyers in Greensboro, NC help clients at every stage of the SSDI benefit procress from initial application to hearing. If you are applying for or appealing a denied SSDI claim, contact our firm today for a free consultation. There is no obligation to hire our firm and no fee for our services if you don’t win.