Social Security Disability (SSDI)

Social Security Disability Insurance, or SSDI, is a benefit available from the Social Security Administration (SSA) for disabled individuals. In order to qualify for SSDI, you must have worked a certain number of years in a job where you paid Social Security (FICA) taxes. In addition, your last qualifying work must fall within a certain time frame in relation to the date you became disabled.

Earning Work Credits

The number of work credits you need to qualify (be "insured") for purposes of SSDI depends on your age and your earnings. SSA annually reviews the earnings of workers who pay Social Security taxes and makes a determination of the number of credits earned. The number of credits you earn every year depends on how much you make. Each year, you can earn a maximum of 4 credits. The dollar amount needed to earn on credit is set annually by the SSA and, in 2015, is $1,220. In order to receive the maximum 4 credits in 2015, you need to earn at least $4,880.

The number of credits you need in order to be eligible for SSDI depends on your age and when you earned your credits. For example, if you are over 31, you must have at least 20 credits within the last 10 years in order to be SSDI eligible, but if you are only 24, you would need six credits in the last three years. If you have not worked in a long time, you may not be eligible for SSDI.

Having an experienced Social Security Disability attorney who can help you understand the SSDI eligibility requirements and guide you through the application process can make all the difference in your claim.

Determining Your Benefit Amount

If you have enough work credits to be eligible for SSDI and meet the disability requirements, you will be entitled to a monthly benefit calculated by the SSA. Your monthly benefit is based upon your individual earnings, but the maximum monthly benefit in 2015 is $2,663. In addition to your monthly benefit, your family may be eligible for benefits based upon your disability benefits.

It is important that SSA includes all of your past earnings in order to ensure your monthly benefit is properly calculated and in order to maximize your (and your family's) benefits. Our experienced Social Security Disability attorneys are available to review your benefits to make sure you are receiving all that you are entitled to in your time of need.

Contact Our Massachusetts And Vermont Social Security Disability Attorneys

For consultation with a lawyer about your eligibility for Social Security Disability or Supplemental Security Income, contact Donovan O'Connor & Dodig, LLP. We have offices in North Adams, Pittsfield and Springfield, Massachusetts, as well as in Bennington, Vermont, to serve you. You can reach us in Massachusetts at 413-358-4652, and in Vermont at 802-681-4729 or via email

All cases are handled on a contingent fee basis — you will not have to pay any attorneys' fees unless we win compensation in your case.