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Social Security Administration Facts

Social Security Eligibility

In order to qualify for Social Security Disability benefits, (Title II), you must have worked long enough and recently enough, as required by the Social Security Administration. You can earn up to a maximum of four work credits per year. The amount of earnings required for a credit increases each year as general wage levels increase. Family members who qualify for benefits on your work record do not need work credits.

The number of work credits you need for disability benefits depends on your age at the time you became disabled. In general you need 20 credits earned in the last 10 years, ending with the year you became disabled. However, younger workers may qualify with fewer credits. Here are the rules:

Before age 24 - You may qualify if you have six credits earned in the three-year period ending when your disability starts.

Age 24 to 31 - You may qualify if you have credit for having worked half the time between 21 and the time you become disabled. For example, if you become disabled at age 27, you would need credit for three years of work (12 credits) out of the past six years (between age 21 and age 27).

Age 31 or older - In general, you will need to have the number of work credits shown in the chart shown below. Unless you are blind, at least 20 of the credits must have been earned in the 10 years immediately before you became disabled.

Born After 1929, Become Disabled at Age Credits you Need
31 through 42 20
44 22
46 24
48 26
50 28
52 30
56 32
58 36
60 38
62 or older 40


A claimant must contact their local Social Security Administration office and speak with a claims examiner to determine if they are eligible to apply for disability benefits. Once they have been deemed eligible, an initial application must be filed. It is highly recommended that prior to the filing of the initial application, that claimants retain a skilled professional to help them with the preparation of the initial application and with the accumulation of all necessary evidence needed to prove their claim. By taking this action early in the process, the proper evidence will be submitted for consideration from the outset of the claim, thereby decreasing the amount of time that the claims examiner will need to make a final determination.

Social Security Disability Claims Wins and Losses

According to the Social Security Administration's own statistics, as reported in 2003, approximately 60% of all initial claims are denied. Of those claimants who are denied, only 25% file for reconsideration. Of those claimants, 21% are denied. Only 19% file for an appeal and proceed to a hearing. At the hearing level, 7% are denied from which only 5% appeal to the Appeals Counsel and only 1% of these claimants win their claims.

Your Chance of Winning Your Claim

With these very startling statistics, it is extremely important for claimants to understand the importance of obtaining help from a skilled professional who can guide them through the entire claims process. It is essential for claimants to present the necessary medical and vocational evidence to the Social Security Administration in order to prove that their impairments prevent them from being able to work at any job.

If a claimant utilizes our Social Security disability consulting services, their chances of winning benefits will improve by as much as 75%. And because we know how important it is for claimants to receive their benefits as soon as possible, we will do everything in our power to obtain a fast determination of their claims.

Free Case Evaluation

If you would like to determine the percentage of chance that you will be successful with your disability claim, and you meet the criteria below, then please take a moment to complete our free case evaluation form. We will contact you within 24-48 hours to provide you with our assessment of your chances for success.

  • You are under age 65
  • You have a medical condition that is expected to last at least 12 months
  • You have medical evidence to support your condition
  • You have worked 5 out of the last 10 years and paid Social Security FICA taxes


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