Social Security disability benefits are immensely helpful for many Americans. If you’re unable to work due to an illness, injury, or other cause, SSD benefits provide a source of income. However, as you know, disability requirements are always subject to change. Currently, work credits are part of those requirements in addition to other factors. Fortunately, if you do qualify for SSD benefits, other resources, support, and tools also become available to you. The Social Security Administration Ticket to Work program is one example.

Work Credits

One of the major factors in determining the SSD benefits for an applicant is the number of work credits the person has earned. Work credits are earned through wages and paying into Social Security payroll taxes. You’ve probably seen this number listed on your pay stub. In 2020, you can earn one Social Security credit for every $1,410 received in wages. The maximum number of credits you can earn in one year is four.

Age is also a consideration. If you’ve already earned 40 work credits, you’ve satisfied the work-credit requirement for SSD benefits no matter how old you are. However, the number needed does vary by age. Between 31 and 42, you have to have at least 20 work credits to meet the minimum requirement. For every two years over age 42, you need to earn two additional credits on top of the 20-credit requirement. Between 24 and 31, you have to have already earned a minimum of two credits every year since you were 21. Anyone under 24 must have at least six credits for the past three years.


Obviously, SSD benefits demand a verifiable disability as well. This can’t simply be an illness or injury that’s bothersome or limiting in some minor way. It must negatively impact your ability to seek and maintain gainful employment. In short, this means an illness that’s manageable with diet, exercise, or medication wouldn’t qualify. For instance, many people with diabetes are able to work regularly and with minimal inconvenience. However, some cannot.

This is something best discussed with your doctor. You may also want to work with an attorney to assist you through the application process. If you have an injury, illness, or other condition that severely limits or has eliminated your ability to work, it’s worth pursuing SSD benefits. Remember that documentation will be required.

Filling Out SSD Form


The application process can be time-consuming, and some applicants find certain questions to be intrusive. The application process is designed to eliminate fraudulent claims, so it must be thorough, and documentation is always necessary. However, anyone with an illness, injury, or other condition that limits their ability or stops them from working altogether should at least consider applying for disability benefits. Along with the income received, there are other benefits and associated programs that be helpful as well.


When living with a disability, work options and career paths can seem incredibly limiting. You may think your life will never get back to normal. This can be very frustrating or even depressing, and many SSD recipients struggle with suddenly living a life without work or daily engagement.

The Social Security Disability benefits Ticket to Work program is designed to help. It allows people with disabilities to improve their finances without putting their benefits in jeopardy. With the help of an expert team and their connections, you can take advantage of everything the program offers. Contact DisABLEd Workers at 877-291-9806 if you have any questions or would like to learn more about the program.

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