While going through the process of applying for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits, it is important to consider and assess your work history. There are types of employment that affect your SSDI benefits. These benefits are available for individuals who have paid into the system via a payroll tax. Your work history plays a role in the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) formula for calculating your work credits and potential benefit amount. You need to have worked for a total of 20 quarters or 5 years within 40 quarters or a 10 year period.
However, you must realize there is other criteria that must be met to be deemed eligible to be awarded benefits from the SSA. Some there are types of employment that affect your SSDI benefits. Careers such as self-employment, employment overseas or federal employment.
When you are self-employed, it is imperative to keep accurate tax records. These documents are invaluable, especially if you are applying for SSDI. You must have a clear record of your SSDI contributions and quarters worked. These documentations are required to prove you have paid appropriate Social Security taxes throughout your career.
The Social Security Administration has an accord called The Totalization Agreement with 24 other countries. Therefore there are types of overseas employment that may or may not be counted as part of your work history when applying for SSDI benefits.
The Totalization Agreement may also allow for the payments you have made into the Social Security systems of other countries be combined with the U.S. Social Security system. Just note that this is a special circumstance, but worth investigating if you have spent anytime employed overseas.
Due to 1984’s Windfall Elimination Provision, federal employees hired before 1984 will likely have less SSDI benefits. However, the good news is, federal employees hired after the provision have coverage for their earned work credits. Prior to the 1984 Provision, Federal employees did not have Social Security taxes withheld from their pay.
DSS Can Help
If you have questions determining the types of employment that affect your SSDI benefits categories, contact Disability Support Services. In closing, consider that SSDI benefits resemble an insurance program. Therefore, depending on your line of work and career you may have (or have not) earned work credits through Social Security. DSS can evaluate your work history and types of employment to help you receive the benefits.