If you’re injured and cannot work, one of the options may be to apply for Social Security Disability benefits. Not everyone will qualify for Social Security, so it’s important that you do have an opportunity to review the qualifications before you apply and determine your chances of an approval.
To start with, you can qualify for Social Security Disability if you have worked a job covered by Social Security and have a medical condition that qualifies based on the Social Security Administration’s definition of a disability. The SSA has such a strict definition that it is possible for someone to have a serious disability but still not qualify.
Work credits matter for Social Security Disability
Something to keep in mind is that work credits do matter for Social Security Disability benefits. You have to have enough work credits to show that you paid into the system for long enough to receive benefits.
The work credits are based on your total yearly wages, and you’re limited to earning four credits per year. In 2022, you’ll get a single credit for each $1,510 you earn in self-employment income or wages.
Most people need a total of 40 credits to qualify for SSDI, and at least 20 must have been earned within the last 10 years. If you’re a younger person, you may not need as many credits to qualify for support.
What is substantial gainful activity?
One term that you need to be aware of is “substantial gainful activity.” SGA refers to working enough to support yourself despite having this medical condition. If you can do work of any kind and earn enough to support yourself (and go over the qualifying limit for the purposes of SSDI) you will not qualify for SSDI. In 2022, the earnings average may not be over $1,350 for most individuals applying for disability coverage. This is increased to $2,260 for those who are blind.
These are a few things to think about if you’re thinking about applying for Social Security Disability. If you have questions, it may be helpful to look into getting support with your application.