How Long Do I Have to Work To Receive Social Security? PDF Print E-mail

 

Have I Worked Long Enough To Receive Social Security Disability Benefits?

 

 
 

Social Security Claim Evaluation Form

 

Unlike Supplemental Security Income benefits (SSI) you must have worked in the past in order build up enough credits to qualify for Social Security disability insurance benefits (SSDI).  The earnings rules can be very confusing.  If you are unsure whether you meet the earnings guidelines, or are confused, call us at 1-800-966-5649 and we will be happy to tell you whether or not you are likely to be considered eligible for benefits.  Keep in mind, the items below are guidelines, and may vary by a few months here or there.

 

If you became disabled earlier than 3 months before your 24th birthday, you have to show that you have a year and a half of work for the past three years leading up to your disability.

 

If you became disabled after age 24, but 3 months earlier than you turned 31, then you must have worked for at least half of the time between age 21 and the time that you became disabled.  For example, if you became disabled 2 months before your 29th birthday, then you would have to show that you worked (and paid into Social Security) for at least four years.

 

If you were disabled after the three months before your 31st birthday, then you must show that you worked (and paid into the Social Security program) for at least five years between the age of 21 and your disability.

 

 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 years

Age 34

3 years

Age 38

4 years

Age 42

5 years

Age 44

5.5 years

Age 46

6 years

Age 48

6.5 years

Age 50

7 years

Age 52

7.5 years

Age 54

8 years

Age 56

8.5 years

Age 58

9 years

Age 60

9.5 years

 

Remember, it can be very confusing to determine whether you've worked long enough to be eligible for Social Security disability benefits.  You may always call our office, free of charge at 1-800-966-5649 for fast, easy answers to your Social Security questions.