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Understand work credit to ensure qualification for SSD

Much is being said about the upcoming changes to Social Security Disability benefits starting from 2018. The Indiana personal injury law blog also discussed some of them in last week's post, including those being made to the work credit requirements. Indiana residents may understand that these changes have made it more difficult to qualify for SSD benefits, but what exactly a work credit is could still be confusing.

In order to qualify to receive SSD benefits, one must have earned Social Security credits. These are earned by working in a job and pay social security taxes. The credits are based on income -- as mentioned in last week's post, in 2017 one credit was equivalent to $1300 of earnings and in 2018 this figure is set to change. This is not the first time the number has changed though -- each year it increases a little as average earnings increase. A person can earn up to four credits a year.

So how many credits does one need to qualify for social security disability benefits? Depends on what type one is applying for. For retirement benefits, one needs 10 years of work (40 credits) in order to become eligible for SSD benefits. If someone becomes disabled before they are 24, they need one and a half years of work (six credits) in the three years before the disability. For those between the ages of 24 and 30 and disabled, they need to have received credits for half of the time that has passed since they 21 years old and the time they became disabled. Generally, those who are over the age of 31 need a minimum of 20 credits earned within the 10 years before the person became disabled. Benefits are also available for survivors of those who paid social security taxes and have passed away.

Without the requisite work credits, a person cannot qualify to receive SSD benefits-this should demonstrate their importance. At times, people have earned the credits but are not able to prove it due to incorrect documentation. An experienced attorney can go over an individual's case and ensure their paperwork is complete and thorough.

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