SSDI will provide a monthly cash payment based on the number and value of your social security work credits (see below).
How do I qualify for SSDI?
SSDI requires that you have paid into social security through income deductions. It uses work credits based on qualified quarters of employment, but if you were disabled before age 30, fewer quarters of employment are needed.
There are two ways to qualify for SSDI:
Use Your Own Work Record
You need to have earned a set annual number of credits based on your earnings and your age. If you were disabled before age 30, fewer quarters of employment are needed.
For 2022: $1,510 earned = 1 credit with a maximum 4 credits/year. If you earn more than $6,040 or 4 credits per year, it simply means each of each credit is worth more money and possibly means a higher SSDI payment.
If disabled before age 30, you need fewer credits to be eligible for SSDI, but note that payments will take into account the amount of your earnings. Note the number of credits required increases with age (see chart)
You are encouraged to create a “My Social Security Account” to determine your SSDI payment amount.
To find out what your payments will be, review the See Social Security brochure “How You Earn Credits.”
Childhood Disability Benefits
This method allows children and young individuals who never paid into social security to qualify for SSDI.
To qualify, the Childhood Disability Benefit must be triggered:
- Available for individuals continuously disabled before age 22
- Parent retired, disabled, or deceased and begins to receive social security benefit
The monthly cash payment is based on the parent’s social security work record:
- 50% of primary insurance amount of living parent
- 75% of primary insurance amount of the deceased parent
- If you are able to work and earn more than $1,350/month, you may lose access to this benefit.
- If you collect under the parent’s record and you get married, you will be tagged under your spouse’s work record and lose the payment under your parent’s record.
If “child” works too much, you may lose the benefit. See the following section on Working with SSDI for additional considerations.