Suffering an injury is usually a difficult time for individuals in Ohio. While minor injuries are easily brushed off, serious injuries that require a significant amount of time to recover from have a way of impacting a person’s life profoundly. In fact, an injury can be so severe that it could make it hard to do normal things, like caring for oneself. And, in other cases, it could mean losing the ability to work.
The inability to work is not only emotionally devastating, it is also a financial burden. Injured workers who are currently unable to work because of a disabling injury should understand that Social Security Disability benefits may be available. However, in order to establish eligibility, a person’s work credits need to be assessed.
What are work credits and how do they impact eligibility for SSD benefits? Work credits are earned when a person works and pays Social Security taxes. A maximum of four work credits can be earned each year. For most workers, the minimum amount of work credits needed to qualify for SSD benefits is 40, and if a person does not have enough work credits, then benefits will not be paid.
For disability benefits, the number of work credits needed is based on a person’s age. If the disabling injury occurs before the age of 24, the person must have six work credits earned in the previous three years. From age 24 to 31, applicants may qualify for SSD benefits if they have been working half of the time from age 21 until the age when the person was injured. Over the age of 31 requires at least 20 work credits, and goes up a work credit each year starting at age 42.
Dealing with a serious injury is a difficult and complicated situation. Understanding whether you can obtain SSD benefits shouldn’t be a complicated one, but it often can be. It is important that individuals living with a disabling injury understand their rights and options in this matter.