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How are the social security disability recent and duration of work tests calculated?

If you are healthy, disability benefits aren’t something that comes to mind. But you might be surprised how many people actually end up needing these crucial benefits within their lifetime. In fact, out of the population currently in their 20s in the United States, it is estimated that one out of four individuals will become disabled before the age of 67.

Luckily, Social Security exists to not only provide retirement income, but also to provide income for those who become disabled and are unable to work. But, the work portion is very important, as there are thresholds of work experience in terms of recent work and duration of work, depending on age.

How are the social security disability recent and duration of work tests calculated?

So what are the social security disability and duration of work tests that are conducted? Let’s take a look at the two tests that exist.

SSDI Recent Work Test Calculation

The first test that someone needs to undergo when applying for social security disability benefits is the recent work test. This test exists for the individual to prove they have worked a certain amount of time before they became disabled.

Specifically, anyone under the age of 24 applying for benefits must have worked at least 1.5 years after turning the age of 21 to pass the recent work test. In addition, anyone between the ages of 24 and 31 need to have worked at least half of that time, beginning at age 21. An individual 29 years of age would have needed to have worked for four years to pass this test. Finally, anyone over the age of 31 must have worked for five of the ten years before they became disabled.

SSDI Duration of Work Test Calculation

The second test that needs to be passed is the durations of work test. This measures the amount of time the individual has worked over their lifetime.

Due to the existence of the first test, generally speaking, anyone under 42 will pass the duration test if they passed the recent work test. Once someone turns 42, they must add one quarter of work per year in order to pass the test. For example, someone who is 46 years old must have worked six years since turning 21 to pass the duration test. Five of those years must have been within 10 years of becoming disabled.

This calculation is somewhat complex, and the social security administration doesn’t always get it right – and there can be many factors involved in a given individual’s work history. Anyone who feels they were wrongly denied social security disability benefits due to an error, or any other reason, should contact an attorney. The fact is, 70 percent of applicants are denied the first time – but a much larger percentage than that eventually do get approved for benefits. The difference is often the right attorney.

At Tabak Law, we have many years of experience helping individuals obtain the social security disability benefits they are entitled to. For a completely free evaluation of your situation, please call us at 844-432-0114 or fill out the simple form below.
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