Stay at Home Mother With Her ChildYou work hard every single day. There are no days off, there are no raises, and there are precious few compliments on a job well done. Yet, every day you do the very rewarding work of staying home to take care of your children.

You weren’t always a stay at home parent. You used to have a job, and used to pay Social Security taxes. You thought Social Security would be there when you needed it, and if you live long enough, then you may remain eligible for retirement benefits. However, if you become disabled and you can no longer do the day to day activities required of stay at home parents, then you may—or may not—be eligible for Social Security disability payments.

Social Security Disability Eligibility

Your eligibility for Social Security disability depends on:

  • Whether you can work
  • Your age
  • How recently you worked
  • How long you worked

For purposes of this article, we will assume that you are disabled, and move on to the other considerations.

What Is a Work Credit?

Work credits do not determine whether you are disabled, but are critical in determining whether you are eligible for Social Security disability benefits. You may earn a maximum of four work credits per year. The amount of money that you have to make (and, therefore, the amount of Social Security taxes you have to pay) to earn a work credit changes annually. In 2020, for example, one work credit is earned for every $1,410 you earned.

How Many Work Credits Have You Earned?

You must have a minimum number of work credits to qualify for Social Security disability. The number of work credits you need depends on a lot of factors and can be confusing. The Social Security Administration provides a general example, so you have an idea of what to expect.

According to that example, you may need:

  • Six work credits or one- and one-half years of work if you are under age 28
  • Eight work credits or two years of work if you are 30 years old
  • 12 work credits or three years of work if you are 34 years old
  • 16 work credits or four years of work if you are 38 years old
  • 20 work credits or five years of work if you are 42 years old
  • 22 work credits or five- and one-half years of work if you are 44 years old
  • 24 work credits or six years of work if you are 46 years old
  • 26 work credits or six- and one-half years of work if you are 48 years old
  • 28 work credits or seven years of work if you are 50 years old

How Recently Have You Worked and How Old are You?

According to the Social Security Administration’s recent work test, you may qualify for benefits if you are:

  • Younger than 24 years old and you have earned six work credits in the three years immediately before your disability began.
  • You are between the ages of 24 and 31 and half of your required work credits were earned between the age of 21 and the age you were when your disability began.
  • You are 31 years or older and you have earned 20 work credits in the ten years immediately before your disability began.

Find Out the Truth About Your Social Security Disability Eligibility

If your disability requires you to hire caregivers for yourself or your children, then your family budget may be strained and you may be under a lot of stress.

Articles, such as this one, can provide you useful information that you may apply to your situation. However, if you have any doubt about whether or not you may be eligible for Social Security disability payments, then we encourage you to contact our experienced New England Social Security disability lawyers for a free, no-obligation consultation.

You may be eligible for Social Security disability based on your work history, and in some limited cases, you may be eligible because of your spouse’s Social Security contributions. For the past 25 years, we’ve been helping Massachusetts residents get the Social Security disability benefits they’ve earned. We will look at your claim from every angle and fight hard to get you the benefits you deserve. Call us or fill out our online contact form to have us contact you today to learn more.

Are You Looking for a Social Security Disability Attorney in Boston, MA?

If you are looking to apply for social security disability, you need to speak with an experienced social security disability lawyer as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Natick Office directly at 508.283.5500 to schedule your free consultation.


John L. Keefe
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Founding Attorney, Massachusetts Social Security Disability Lawyer