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You must have enough work history to qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits. You gain work credits when you work that apply to your eligibility, according to the Social Security Administration. How many work credits you need depends on your situation and may differ for each person. It is important that you understand how work credits apply for your personal case because it may not be the same as someone else’s case. You will not get benefits if you do not have enough credits.

The way you can earn work credits is different than it used to be. The SSA has made changes to the system. So, you should familiarize yourself with the earning process when you look into how many credits you need.

How many credits you need

To get SSDI, the maximum number of credits you must earn within the 10 years prior to requesting benefits is 20 with a total of 40 credits for eligibility. However, you may need fewer credits if you are a younger worker. The 40-credit maximum is for those over the age of 62. For every year younger than this age, the number of credits the SSA requires reduces.

Young workers who are under the age of 24, for example, will only need six credits, which they must earn in the three years prior to applying for benefits. However, a worker who is 55 years old would need a total of 33 credits.

How to earn credits

You earn work credits when you work and pay Social Security taxes. Every year, you can earn up to four credits. You must earn a set amount of money to earn one credit. The amount changes every year. For example, in 2020, the amount you must make to earn one credit is $1,410. You can only earn credits by working and paying taxes. Any work where you do not pay into Social Security will not count towards your credit earnings.