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How does work history affect eligibility for SSD benefits?

Whether or not a Michigan resident will be eligible for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits will depend in part on his or her work history. When a person is no longer able to work, whether due to a work accident or other injury, he or she may be in need of SSD benefits.

In addition to looking at the nature of a person's disability, the Social Security Administration (SSA) will evaluate a person's work history to determine if he or she is eligible for SSD benefits. There are minimum work requirements that applicants must meet to qualify for SSD benefits. These requirements vary based on a person's age when he or she became disabled. Additionally, the length of a time a person worked, as well as his or her income history, may affect the amount of a person's benefits.

The SSA will evaluate a person's recent work history in making its determination regarding benefits. In order to be eligible for SSD benefits, a person who became disabled before age 24 must have at least one and a half years of work experience in the three years prior to becoming disabled. A person age 24 through 30 must have worked at least half of the time from when he or she turned 21 years old until the quarter in which he or she became disabled. A person who became disabled at age 31 or older must have worked for five of the ten years prior to becoming disabled.

These work requirements are just one of the requirements a person must meet to qualify for SSD benefits. There are also medical requirements. Additionally, if a person does not qualify for SSD benefits due to work history limitations, he or she may be eligible to receive SSI benefits, which are based on need. An attorney may be able to answer Michigan residents' questions regarding work history requirements and other SSD eligibility requirements.

Source: Fox Business, "SSI vs. SSDI: Understanding the Key Differences in Social Security Disability Programs," Matthew Frankel, March 25, 2016, accessed April 1, 2016

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