In Survivors

MOCA is partnering with Cancer Legal Care throughout 2024 to help our ovarian cancer survivors and families gain insight into relevant legal issues. This month, Cancer Legal Care’s staff shares information to help you navigate Social Security Disability Insurance and work credits.

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Work Credits

Most people think of Social Security as a retirement benefit. However, if you are unable to work due to a cancer diagnosis, you may be eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) regardless of your age. SSDI is administered through the Social Security Administration and provides a monthly cash benefit.

To be eligible for SSDI you must have earned enough Social Security work credits. Social Security work credits are based on your total wages and self-employment income for the year. You can earn up to 4 work credits per year.

The number of work credits you need to be eligible for SSDI depends on your age and how recently you worked. Workers who are 31 years old or younger need fewer work credits. You can find the rules for younger workers here.

Your Social Security Statement is a tool you can use to help determine if you have earned enough work credits. It can also provide you with an estimate of your monthly SSDI payment. You can get a copy of your Social Security Statement through your My Social Security Account.

Instructions on how to create an account can be found here.

A sample Social Security Statement can be found here.

Do you have questions about Social Security Disability benefits? Cancer Legal Care is here to help. Reach out to us at or 651-917-9000.

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