Supplemental Social Security Income (SSI) Benefits And Work Credits

Individuals eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) may also be entitled to receive Social Security benefits. An application for SSI benefits is also an application for Social Security benefits, although the latter requires additional information from the applicant before such benefits may be awarded.

To receive monthly Social Security benefits for applications filed December 1, 1996. or later, applicants must be either a U.S. citizen or lawfully present alien. To be eligible for social security benefits as a worker, the applicant must be:

  • Age 62 or older, or disabled or blind; and
  • “Insured” by having a sufficient number of work credits.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) measures work in “work credits” with up to four work credits per year available based on an applicant’s annual earnings. The amount of earnings required for a work credit increases each year to correspond to the increase in general wage levels.

To qualify for benefits based on blindness or retirement, an applicant must have earned an average of one work credit for each calendar year between age 21 and the year in which the applicant reached age 62 or became disabled or blind. A claimant may compile a maximum of 40 work credits while the SSA requires a minimum of six work credits, regardless of age.

Eligibility for Social Security benefits based on a disability other than blindness generally requires 20 work credits earned in the last 10 years ending with the year that the applicant became disabled. The following chart indicates the work credits needed by age:

Born After 1929
Become Disabled
at Age
Work Credits
31 through 42 20
44 22
46 24
48 26
50 28
52 30
54 32
56 34
58 36
60 38
62 or older 40


Accurately establishing a claim for Social Security disability benefits requires the experience and expertise of the attorneys at Powell Law. If you are disabled and believe that you are entitled to benefits, contact Powell Law today. Our decades of experience make it the clear and obvious choice for representation in legal matters in the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and surrounding areas. Contact Powell Law at (570) 961-0777.

Supplemental Social Security Income (SSI) Benefits And Work Credits

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