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The number of work credits you need to qualify for disability benefits depends on your age

The number of work credits you need to qualify for disability benefits depends on your age when you become disabled. Generally, you need 40 credits, 20 of which were earned in the last 10 years ending with the year you become disabled. However, younger workers may qualify with fewer credits.

Before age 24–You may qualify if you have 6 credits earned in the 3-year period ending when your disability starts.

Age 24 to 31–You may qualify if you have credit for working half the time between age 21 and the time you become disabled. For example, if you become disabled at age 27, you would need credit for 3 years of work (12 credits) out of the past 6 years (between ages 21 and 27).

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

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