To receive disability benefits, federal law requires that applicants meet two different earnings tests. The first is a recent work test, based on the age of the applicant at the time he or she became disabled; and a duration of work test to demonstrate that the applicant worked long enough under Social Security. Certain blind workers must only meet the duration of work test.
The following table shows the requirements for how much work an applicant needs for the recent work test, based on the age of the applicant when the disability began. The Social Security Administration (SSA) bases the rules in this table on the calendar quarter in which the applicant turned or will turn a certain age. The calendar quarters are:
First Quarter: January 1 through March 31
Second Quarter: April 1 through June 30
Third Quarter: July 1 through September 30
Fourth Quarter: October 1 through December 31
If you become disabled in or before the quarter you turn age 24, then you generally need 1.5 years of work during the three-year period ending with the quarter your disability began.
If you become disabled in the quarter after you turn age 24 but before the quarter you turn age 31, then you generally need to have worked during half of the time for the period beginning with the quarter after you turned 21 and ending with the quarter you became disabled. Example: If you become disabled in the quarter you turned age 27, then you would need three years of work out of the six-year period ending with the quarter you became disabled.
If you become disabled in the quarter you turn age 31 or later, then you generally need to have worked during five years out of the 10-year period ending with the quarter your disability began.
Examples of work needed for the duration of work test:
|If you become disabled…||Then, you generally need:|
|Before Age 28||1.5 years of work|
|Age 30||2 yrs.|
|Age 34||3 yrs.|
|Age 38||4 yrs.|
|Age 42||5 yrs.|
|Age 44||5.5 yrs.|
|Age 46||6 yrs.|
|Age 48||6.5 yrs.|
|Age 50||7 yrs.|
|Age 52||7.5 yrs.|
|Age 54||8 yrs.|
|Age 56||8.5 yrs.|
|Age 58||9 yrs.|
|Age 60||9.5 yrs.|
Eligibility for SSDI is a complicated analysis. However, a disability attorney may provide assistance to all SSDI applicants in making this determination. Whether you are 30, 40, 50, or 60, the assistance of an experienced disability attorney may help you navigate the often lengthy and complicated process of applying for disability benefits. Contact the Sullivan Law Office to get the help you need in the Louisville metro area. Call 888-587-0228 or visit us online.