Topic Categories:

Overview of Disability

Disability Back Pay

Requirements for Disability

Applications for disability

Tips and Advice for Disability Claims

How long does Disability take?

Winning Disability Benefits

Common Mistakes after a Denial

Mental Disability Benefits

Denials for Disability

Appeals for denied claims

Disability Benefits from SSA

SSI Benefits

Child Disability Benefits

Qualifications and How to Qualify

Working and Disability

Disability Awards and Notices

Disability Lawyers, Hiring Attorneys

Social Security List of Conditions

What Social Security considers disabling

Medical Evidence and Disability

Filing for Disability Benefits

Eligibility for Disability Benefits

SSD SSI Definitions

Ask a question, get an answer

What If I Do Not Have Enough Work Credits For Social Security 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 and in these subsections:

Frequently asked questions about getting Denied for Disability Benefits | FAQ on Disability Claim Representation | Info about Social Security Disability Approvals and Being Approved | FAQ on Social Security Disability SSI decisions | The SSD SSI Decision Process and what gets taken into consideration | Disability hearings before Judges | Medical exams for disability claims | Applying for Disability in various states | Selecting and hiring Disability Lawyers | Applying for Disability in North Carolina | Recent articles and answers to questions about SSD and SSI

These pages answer some of the most basic questions for individuals who are considering filing a claim.

Filing for disability - How to file for SSD or SSI and the Information that is needed by Social Security
How to Apply for Disability - What medical conditions can you apply and qualify for?
Applying for Disability - How long does it take to get Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?
What happens if I file a disability application and it is denied by a disability examiner or Judge?
How to Prove you are disabled and qualify to win disability benefits
How do you prove your disability case if you have a mental condition or impairment?
Social Security Disability Back pay and How Long it Takes to Qualify for it and receive it
Social Security Disability SSI - Eligibility Requirements and Qualifications Criteria