Those who are considering filing for Social Security Disability benefits might not have thought about the earnings requirements that are part of the federal regulations to qualify. First, there is a recent work test based on the person's age at the time of the disabling injury, illness or condition. Second is the duration of work test to prove that the person worked for a sufficient period of time. The rules are based on the time at which a person turns a certain age and is separated into calendar quarters. The first quarter is January 1 to March 31; the second is April 1 to June 30; the third is July 1 to September 30; and the fourth is October 1 to December 31.
If a person is disabled in or prior to the quarter at which they turn 24, they will need to have worked for 1.5 years in the three-year period that ended with the quarter of disability. If the person is disabled in the quarter after he or she turned 24, but prior to the quarter of turning 31, he or she must have worked for half the time beginning at age 21 and ending at the quarter when the disability occurred. If the person becomes disabled in the quarter of turning age 31 or later, he or she must have worked for five of the 10 years ending with the quarter at which the disability occurred.
To simplify, the basics go as follows: if the person was disabled before age 28, there must have been 1.5 years of work; age 30, two years of work; age 34, three years of work; age 38, four years of work; age 42, five years of work; age 44, 5.5 years of work; age 46, six years of work; age 48, 6.5 years of work; age 50, seven years of work; age 52, 7.5 years of work; age 54, eight years of work; age 56, 8.5 years of work; age 58, nine years of work; and age 60, 9.5 years of work.
help with a case and understanding the earnings requirements, how long the person had to have worked and at what age, a lawyer who understands all the various factors that go into applying forSocial Security Disability can help.
Source: ssa.gov, "Disability Benefits -- How do I meet the earnings requirements for disability benefits?, pages 2-3," accessed on Nov. 4, 2017