Quarters of Coverage

A calendar quarter is a three-month period stretched over the calendar year. The first calendar quarter runs from January 1 to March 31, the second quarter runs from April 1 to June 30, the third quarter runs from July 1 to September 30, and the fourth quarter runs from October 1 to December 31. According to the Social Security Administration (SSA), a quarter of coverage is any calendar quarter during which you are covered by the Social Security program. The term “quarter of coverage” is no longer used by the Social Security Administration. Rather than that, they utilize Social Security credits, or simply credits.

To qualify for Social Security Disability benefits, you must be a Social Security beneficiary. As a result of your labor and payment of Social Security taxes, you accumulate credits toward future disability benefits. Credits are awarded based on your earnings. In 2016, you gain one credit for every $1,260 earned. However, regardless of your earnings, you can earn no more than four credits every year. Each year, the amount of earnings required to qualify for a Social Security credit changes, and in general, more earnings are required. Credits remain on your government record even if you are unemployed for an extended length of time.

To qualify for Social Security Disability benefits, you must have accumulated at least 20 credits during the preceding ten years and be fully insured. Twenty credits are comparable to twenty three-month periods of employment during which you paid into the Social Security system and earned sufficient money to qualify for a credit. For younger workers, there are some exceptions to this norm.

To be completely insured for disability benefits purposes, you must have earned at least one credit per year from the time you reached the age of 21 until the year you became disabled, and a total of at least six credits.

In general, if you have achieved the maximum of 40 credits, you are regarded permanently insured and will not lose your fully insured status when you cease working.