The SSD work test
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The SSD work test

On Behalf of | Sep 3, 2021 | Social Security Disability (SSD)

Being approved for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits can be a long and frustrating experience for Indiana applicants. The Social Security Administration is diligent about SSD approvals because all approvals are permanent. In addition, rules change according to age with those under age 50 automatically being evaluated for retraining for an alternate work position. And aside from that particular rule, the agency also evaluates applicants based on the amount of Social Security taxes they have contributed to the system in determining if they are eligible for Social Security Disability benefits.

SSD eligibility

The first requirement for SSD eligibility is the duration test. Applicants must have earned at least 40 work credits during their working career. Work credits are earned in three-month increments when the applicant has earned a minimum of $1470 during any period. Additionally, anyone who earns the minimum annual total of $5880 in the first part of the year has qualified for all four credits associated with that work year. The catch is that 10 of those 40 must be earned in the 10 years immediately before filing, which is the recent work test.

Recent work test for younger workers

There is a problem with this SSD eligibility system in that it does not actually account for younger workers who become disabled early in life. For these applicants between ages 24 and 31, they must have six work credits in the immediate three years prior to becoming disabled. Additionally, they must have worked at least half of their life since the age of 21 in credit-earning employment. Those between the ages of 31 and 50 are assessed for retraining through workers compensation.

It is also important to note that some people who cannot qualify for SSD could be qualified for Supplemental Security Income. However, the rules differ significantly, and eligibility for SSI is means tested.