As we said in Wednesday’s post, having evidence of a disabling injury or illness is not always enough to gain you disability benefits through the Social Security Administration (SSA). You must pass two tests that evaluate your work history, the second of which is the “Recent Work Test.” The Recent Work Test determines whether you have worked enough in the recent past to qualify for benefits.
The “recent past” in this case means the past 10 years. Even if you passed the “Duration Work Test,” which mandates 10 years of work, you must have received five years of wages within decade preceding the onset of your disability. To determine that, the SSA breaks the time down into calendar quarters. If you are over the age of 31, you must have worked five years out of the ten years preceding your disability.
- First Quarter: January, February, March
- Second Quarter: April, May, June
- Third Quarter: July, August, September
- Fourth Quarter: October, November, December
There are certain exceptions to this rule. For younger workers who become disabled, the work requirements are lessened. If you are under 24 when your disability occurs, you only need 1.5 years of work, or six quarters. If you are between the ages of 24 and 31 when you become disabled, you need only have worked half of the quarters between your disability’s onset and when you turned 21.
Obviously, the SSA’s methods are confusing. For more information and advice on how to proceed with your application for disability benefits, contact a Tulsa Social Security Disability attorney. We offer free consultations to help you understand your options, and you may reach us by phone at (918) 265-1404.