Ask Larry

Is There A Loophole For Me To Get Disability?

I am a 51 year old woman, I had developed back and neck issues, apparently I haven't worked 5 out of 10 years. And my husband is on disability, is there a loophole for me to get disability? The SSA will not make a judgement if I'm disabled .

Hi. There's no loophole, but I can try to clarify the insured status rules for Social Security disability (SSDI) benefits. In order for a person who becomes disabled at age 31 or later to be insured for SSDI, they must have earned at least 20 quarters (QC) of Social Security coverage within the 10 year period ending with the date of the disability onset. So, for example, if you became disabled in July 2022, you would need to have earned at least 20 QCs during the period from July 2012 to July 2022.

The 'quarter' in QC refers to quarters of a year (i.e. January through March, April through June, July through September, and October through December). You aren't required to work in all four quarters of the year in order to earn 4 QCs, though. In 2023, for example, you are credited with one QC for each $1640 that you earn, up to a maximum of 4 QCs for the year. The amount needed for a QC in each calendar year can be found on the following Social Security website:

The bottom line is that if you didn't earn at least 20 QCs during the 10 year period leading up to the time you became disabled, then you can't qualify for SSDI benefits regardless of how bad your medical impairment is. If you aren't insured for SSDI, you might want to consider applying for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) depending on your financial situation. SSI is a needs based benefit administered by the Social Security Administration (

Best, Jerry

Apr 18 2023 - 12:01pm
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