how to qualify for social security

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How You Qualify. To qualify for Social Security disability benefits,you must first have worked in jobs covered by Social Security. Then you must have a medical condition that meets Social Security’s definition of disability. In general,we pay monthly benefits to people who are unable to work for a year or more because of a disability.

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  • How do you qualify for Social Security retirement benefits?

  • To retire and qualify for benefits, a worker must earn a total of 40 work credits throughout their working lifetime. A credit is defined as earning at least $1,170 in a quarter. Social Security computes the actual benefit amount based on the highest 35 years of work where credits are earned.

  • How many credits do you need to qualify for Social Security benefits?

  • You can earn a maximum of four credits for any year. The amount needed to earn one credit increases automatically each year when average wages increase. You must earn a certain number of credits to qualify for Social Security benefits. The number of credits you need depends on your age when you apply and the type of benefit you are applying for.

  • Do you have to work to qualify for Social Security disability?

  • In addition to meeting our definition of disability, you must have worked long enough 鈥?and recently enough 鈥?under Social Security to qualify for disability benefits. Social Security work credits are based on your total yearly wages or self-employment income. You can earn up to four credits each year.

  • How to apply for Social Security benefits in the USA?

  • 1 Online: apply for benefits by going to www.socialsecurity.gov and following the steps on the page. 2 Phone: Call Social Security鈥檚 toll free number at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778). 3 In person: make an appointment to visit a Social Security office at your convenience.

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