I have spoken with several people lately who were denied Social Security Disability benefits as they were not insured and did not know what this means. Typically, you will hear the term “credits.”
In order to be eligible for Social Security Disability benefits, you must be insured under the Social Security Program. When you work for most employers, you pay premiums into the Social Security System through FICA payroll taxes. After you have paid enough into the system for your age, you become eligible to receive Social Security Disability benefits should you become disabled.
To determine whether you are fully insured, the Social Security Administration factors in how much you have worked in terms of “Quarters of Coverage.” You can earn up to four quarters of coverage each year regardless of how much you earn. For 2016, you need to earn $1,260 in earnings to get one credit. Each year the amount of earnings needed to secure a Social Security credit changes and generally more earnings are needed to secure a credit
In order to be fully insured for Social Security Disability purposes, you must have earned at least one quarter of coverage per year for each year since you turned 21 years old. A minimum of six quarters of coverage is needed to be fully insured at any age.
To be eligible for Social Security Disability benefits, you must also be currently insured. You are currently insured if you have at least 20 credits in the last 40 quarters (5 of the last 10 years). There are some exceptions to this rule for younger workers.
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