Most adults want to keep working until they reach retirement age. In fact, they may have plans to continue working part-time or do consulting jobs after they could technically retire to augment their income and standard of living.
However, some adults have no choice but to end their professional pursuits earlier in life. A severe injury or medical condition like multiple sclerosis could leave you unable to work and worried about your financial stability.
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits protect those who have worked for a living and can no longer work because of a disabling medical condition. How do you know if you have worked for long enough to qualify for benefits?
You can check your accumulated credits
The Social Security Administration (SSA) keeps records of the contributions that you have made to Social Security. Most people will claim those benefits when they retire, but a tiny percentage of people may require benefits for a disability before they are retirement age. You will occasionally receive letters from the SSA confirming how many credits you have, and you can check them online with an SSA account too.
Most professional adults need to have at least 40 credits accumulated with the SSA to get SSDI benefits, and 20 of those credits should be from within the last 10 years. Younger workers may qualify with fewer credits, as the most someone can accumulate is four per year. Workers under the age of 31 can potentially receive benefits with fewer credits if they have a qualifying medical condition.
Understanding when you can apply for SSDI benefits can help you support yourself and your loved ones despite your medical condition.