Midwest Disability, P.A. Midwest Disability, P.A. Midwest Disability, P.A.

What is the recent work test for Social Security disability?

If you want to collect Social Security disability payments in Minnesota, you must first meet the earning requirements. Only if you meet them will you be able to collect, so it is very important to know what they are and the legal weight that they hold in this process.

The first thing to consider is known as the "recent work test." For the purpose of this test, the year is divided into quarters. The first runs from Jan. 1 to March 31, the second runs from April 1 to June 30, the third runs from July 1 to Sept. 30, and the final quarter starts on Oct. 1 and ends on Dec. 31.

If you were disabled before you turned 24 -- or before the quarter in which your birthday took place -- then you need to have worked for a year and a half in the previous three years.

If your injury took place after the quarter in which you had your 24th birthday, but prior to the one in which you turned 31, then you must have worked for 50 percent of the time stretching from your 21st birthday to your injury. It is important to note that, despite the use of your 24th birthday in the first half of this requirement, time worked is calculated back to your 21st.

Finally, if you are 31 years old or older -- again, using the quarter to determine this, not your exact age -- then you simply need to have been at work for five years out of the decade before you were disabled.

This is how the recent work test is set up, but you should also note that other requirements must be satisfied, such as the "duration of work" test. Make sure you know all of the legal requirements when seeking your payments.

Source: Social Security Administration, "Social Security Disability Benefits" Nov. 26, 2014

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