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I am separated from my husband and disabled with no income. Applied for social security for people with disabilities.

Brooklyn, NY |

I was told that I didn't have enough work credits to get it . What does work credits have to do with my disability ? can you help me

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Attorney answers 2


There are two main types of disability benefits. SSDI is based on your work history, and how much you paid into the system through your taxes. It sounds like you did not work enough to be eligible for this type of benefit. The other main type is SSI, which is a means tested program, meaning that to qualify the person must be considered disabled under the law and also meet financial qualifications. It can be thought of as "welfare" for disabled folks, so the amount of assets and income one can have is very small in order to qualify.

Attorney Inga Stevens is licensed in Maine. She provides general information on No attorney-client relationship arises out of the information given here.


Social Security is an insurance program, for which workers pay premiums in the form of payroll taxes. For old-age benefits, a worker must pay in enough to earn 40 covered quarters. For disability insured status, 20 of those covered quarters must have been earned within the 40 calendar quarters immediately preceding the onset of disability. To learn more about your eligibility for Social Security or Supplemental Security Income (SSI), the means-tested welfare program for the elderly and disabled, consult with an experienced Social Security or elder law practitioner.

Best wishes for an outcome you can accept, and please remember to designate a best answer.

This answer is offered as a public service for general information only and may not be relied upon as legal advice.