Work History and Your Claim for Social Security Disability Benefits

Your work history is important for a number of reasons and will impact whether or not you are entitled to Social Security Disability benefits and the amount of benefits you secure.

As an American tax payer, a portion of you wages have been attributed to the Federal Social Security Disability Insurance program by deductions through your payroll FICA tax. You can look at your pay stub and see those deductions. A portion of every one of your paychecks goes to the Social Security Administration retirement and disability program.

When applying for Social Security Disability benefits you have to be currently insured. You have to have paid 20 quarters of the last 10 years to qualify to be currently insured.

What happens if you don’t meet those quarters? You can “buy a quarter” by earning a certain amount during a calender year. If you earned $1,900 in 2009 you’ve “bought a quarter.”

You earn up to four quarters in year, therefore, in the last ten years, you have had to have had at least 20 quarters of coverage or more to qualify for Social Security Disability benefits.

If you are disabled before age 31, the work history requirements are different. You can have six quarters of coverage plus one quarter of coverage for each year after the year you reached 21. In other words, if you are 27 years old and become disabled, you will only need 12 quarters of coverage to be fully insured.

When you apply for Social Security Disability benefits the Social Security Administration asks questions about the work that you have done during the 15 years before you became disabled.

At hurtles 4 and 5 of the sequential evaluation, the Social Security Administration determines whether or not you can go back to the lightest job you held in the last fifteen years, and, if not, whether there is job that exists in the mythical national economy based on your age, education and the transferable skills that you’ve learned as a result of your work history.

And, most importantly, you work history is used to determine the amount of your benefits. Your employer has to send the Social Security Administration a copy of your W2 form every year to show how much Social Security taxes you have paid. The Social Security Administration compiles that information and, when you apply for Social Security Disability benefits one of the most important documents we at Cavey and Barrett located in Florida and represent throught the state,  look for in your file is the earnings report to determine whether or not you are fully insured and the amount of your benefits.

Your past work experience, earnings and disabling medical condition all combine in the evaluation process to determine whether or not you meet the Social Security requirements.

If you have any questions contact us at or give us a call at 727-894-3188.

If you would like more information about your rights regarding Social Security Disability Benefits, you can order our FREE book,"Your Rights to Social Security Disability Benefits" by submitting the form in the sidebar. We will send it out immediately along with other important information.

For more information about Social Security Disability Benefits, visit our law firm web site at If you would like to speak with one of our Social Security Disability Benefits attorneys about your case, feel free to call us anytime at (727) 897-9117 or simply submit our contact form and we will get back to you quickly.

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