Social Security Disability Definitions
Social Security Disability and SSI Overview
The Requirements for Disability
Social Security Disability and SSI Applications
Tips and Advice for Disability Claims
How long does Disability take?
Common Mistakes after Receiving a Disability Denial
Disability Denials and Filing Appeals
Social Security Mental Disability Benefits
Disability Benefits offered through Social Security
Benefits through SSI disability
Disability Benefits for Children
Disability Qualifications and How to Qualify
Social Security Disability and Working
Winning your Disability Benefits
Social Security Back Pay and the disability award notice
Disability Lawyers and Hiring an Attorney
Social Security Disability SSI List of Conditions
What is considered a Disabling condition by Social Security?
Social Security Disability SSI and Medical Evidence
Filing for Disability Benefits
Eligibility for Disability Benefits
SSDRC authored by Tim Moore
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What If I Do Not Have Enough Work Credits For Social Security Disability Benefits?
How to prove you are disabled
and win disability benefits
If an individual is applying for Social Security disability, they have to be insured for the program. Insured status for Social Security disability is earned through work activity prior to becoming disabled. Each year, an individual has the potential of earning four work credits, or quarters of coverage, toward insured status.
Social Security guidelines state that an individual must be both "fully insured" and "disability insured" to be eligible to receive Social Security disability benefits. Fully insured status simply requires that an individual have one quarter of coverage (i.e. a work credit) for each year from their twenty-first year until the time they become disabled. Disability insured requires that an individual have earned work credits or quarters of coverage for twenty quarters of the last forty possible quarters.
Basically, an individual must have worked five out of the last ten years. There are special rules that require fewer quarters or work credits to meet disability insured status to help younger disabled workers who are 31 years old or younger toqualify to receive disability benefits.
If an individual cannot meet both the fully insured and disability insured requirements, are there any other Social Security benefits they can file for? Fortunately, there is another disability program administered by Social Security that offers disability benefits for those who do not have enough work credits for Social Security disability benefits. This program is supplemental security income disability (SSI), and it is based upon need rather than insured status or work credits.
However, like other social need-based programs, SSI does have income and resource limits that determine if an individual is eligible for the program. Currently, the resource limit for individuals is two thousand dollars and for couples it is three thousand dollars. Resource limits exclude the highest valued vehicle that an individual or couple owns and the house/land they live on. Other resources (i.e. land, vehicles, bank accounts, etc.) are counted toward the SSI resource limit.
Resource limits have remained the same for many years, but they are subject to change at anytime. For the most, part SSI resource limits are fairly black and white; income limits are more subjective because they are affected by an individual or couple's household composition. For more information about resource and income limits for this need-based program, individual wishing to file for disability should check with their local Social Security office.
If an individual meets the income and resource limits of the SSI disability program, they may be eligible for disability benefits even if they have no work credits.
Return to: Social Security Disability Resource Center, or read answers to Questions
Information on the following topics can be found here: Social Security Disability Questions
Social Security Disability SSI decisions | The Disability Decision Process and What gets taken into Consideration | Getting Denied for Disability Benefits | Questions about Social Security Disability Approvals and Being Approved | Social Security Disability Hearings | Social Security Medical Examinations | Social Security SSI Doctors | Social Security Disability Representation | Social Security Disability SSI Reviews