Your employer withholds taxes from each of your paychecks. You rarely think about paying into Social Security as well with every paycheck. Most workers will claim those accrued benefits when they retire, but some will need other kinds of Social Security benefits sooner than that.
If you are seriously injured or develop a disabling medical condition, you might need Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. The contributions you expected to make a claim against in retirement can help support you when a medical issue leaves you out of work.
Recipients of SSDI must meet very strict criteria. You need to have a condition that prevents you from working and will last for at least a year to qualify. You also need to have paid into the program for long enough to receive benefits. How much work is necessary to claim SSDI?
Typically, workers need years of employment history
The Social Security Administration (SSA) awards you work credits based on your taxable income. You can accrue up to four credits a year — one for each $1,470 in wages you earn.
Typically, SSDI applicants need 40 credits to qualify for full benefits, and they need to have earned at least 20 of those credits in the last 10 years. Younger workers who have not had enough time to accrue that many credits may also qualify for benefits, depending on their age and their employment history.
If you are unsure about whether you have enough credits to qualify, you can check on the SSA website. Knowing the qualifications for SSDI benefits can help you get support when you can’t work.