Social Security work credits are based on total yearly wages. You can only earn up to four credits each year. The amount needed for a credit changes from year to year. In 2015 you earn one credit for each $1,220 of wages. So when you've earned $4,880, you've earned your four credits for the year.
The number of work credits you need to qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance ("SSDI") benefits depends on your age when you become disabled. Most people need 40 credits, 20 of which were earned in the last 10 years. However, younger workers may qualify with fewer credits. For example, if you are under 24 years old when you become disabled you may qualify if you have 6 credits earned in the 3-year period ending when your disability starts.
If you have insufficient work credits, or if you have not worked recently you may still qualify for disability Supplimental Security Income ("SSI") disability benefits.
If you qualify now but you stop working under Social Security, you may not continue to meet the disability work requirement in the future.
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