SSDI Without a Work History
Social Security disability (SSDI) offers an important safety net for those who are unable to continue working due to injury, illness, or a chronic medical condition. But, the SSDI program is for disabled workers. Those with no work history or insufficient work history generally won’t qualify.
Work Credits Required for SSDI
The number of work credits required to qualify for Social Security disability depends on how old you are when you become disabled. The normal threshold for either SSDI or retirement benefits is 40 work credits. But, the Social Security Administration (SSA) recognizes that someone who becomes disabled early in adulthood won’t have had the opportunity to accrue that many credits. So, younger workers have a lower threshold.
How Are Work Credits Accumulated?
You can earn up to four Social Security work credits per year, but it’s not based on quarters worked. Instead, a certain amount of earnings (which changes from year to year) constitutes one credit. In 2023, $1,640 earns you one credit. When you reach $6,560, you’re done earning credits for the year. The good news for those with patchy work histories is that it doesn’t matter when you earned that money. If you work a single month in 2023 and earn $7,000, you’ll get all four work credits for the year.
Disability Benefits with No Work Credits
Work credits are a set-in-stone technical requirement to qualify for SSDI. If you have no work credits or insufficient work credits, you cannot qualify for Social Security disability benefits. The SSA has no authority to make exceptions. However, children and adults who become disabled before the age of 22 may be entitled to receive benefits on a parent’s record. However, there is one option for disabled adults with no work history or insufficient work history.
Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
SSI is a completely separate program administered by the SSA. SSI is a need-based benefit that is available to senior citizens, the blind, and disabled people with very low income and resources.
In 2023, the income cut-off for an individual is $1,913/month in gross wages or self-employment income, or $934/month in income from non-work sources. For a couple, those amounts are increased to $2,827 and $1,391. There is also a limit on assets, which is $2,000 for an individual and $3,000 for a couple.
Need Help with Disability Benefits?
If you’re unsure whether you qualify for SSDI, you believe there is a problem with your Social Security work record and you aren’t getting enough credit for the work you did, or you need help applying for or appealing a denial of SSDI or SSI benefits, Disability Help Group is here for you. We’ll put our extensive knowledge and experience to work to help you secure the benefits you deserve.
To get started, call 800-800-3332 or contact us here.