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Work Credits and Eligibility for Social Security Disability

Social Security Disability Insurance benefits work much the same way as Social Security retirement benefits, in that if you work, you pay a substantial amount of money as Social Security tax. By paying Social Security tax, you earn "work credits", by which you become legally entitled to receive benefits; however, the number of credits required differs based on whether one is applying for retirement benefits or disability benefits. A worker can earn up to four "work credits" per year. The exact number depends on how much money you make; in 2009, for example, you would receive one work credit for every $1090 you make, up to a maximum of four credits for the whole year. If you have earned 40 "work credits", then when you reach retirement age you will be eligible for retirement benefits.

For the "work credits" to count towards disability benefits, however, they generally must have been earned within the last 10 years. The Social Security Administration website explains how many work credits you need.

http://www.socialsecurity.gov/disability

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Not affiliated with the US Social Security Administration