As individuals work and pay taxes, they contribute to their account with Social Security. For Social Security retirement, SSA looks at lifetime earnings and calculates retirement benefits based on lifetime earnings. In contrast, disability ignores lifetime earnings and instead examines the last five to ten years of an individual’s earnings.
In order to attain “fully insured” status for disability, a worker must earn social security work credits. Social Security work credits are based on total yearly wages or self-employment income. Four credits may be earned each year. Typically, 40 credits are needed, 20 of which were earned in the last 40 quarters (10 years) ending with the year the disability began. Fewer credits may be required for younger workers.
The amount needed for a credit changes from year to year. In 2016, for example, one credit is earned for each $1,260 of wages or self-employment income. $5,040 of wages or self-employment income, earns the maximum four credits for the year.
For the last ten years, here is the amount of earnings needed to earn one credit for the year and the amount of earnings needed to earn the maximum number of four credits:
- 2016 $1,260 $5,040 for the year
- 2015 $1,220 $4,880 for the year
- 2014 $1,200 $4,800 for the year
- 2013 $1,160 $4,640 for the year
- 2012 $1,130 $4,520 for the year
- 2011 $1,120 $4,480 for the year
- 2010 $1,120 $4,480 for the year
- 2009 $1,090 $4,360 for the year
- 2008 $1,050 $4,200 for the year
- 2007 $1,000 $4,000 for the year
- 2006 $ 970 $3,880 for the year
Computing, even estimating, the number of social security work credits is a monumental task. The assistance of a qualified disability attorney is vital in helping a potential claimant correctly determine his or her work credits. Contact the Sullivan Law Office today by calling 888-587-0228 or visiting us online! We offer free consultations, so you have absolutely nothing to lose! We look forward to hearing from you.