This discussion is limited to disability benefits, as supplemental security income benefits do not require quarters of credit. Each year the Social Security Administration determines how much income you need to earn to receive work credit for one quarter. For 2015 that amount is $1,220. If you earn $4,880 you would earn the maximum four (4) credits for the year.
A claimant must be fully insured and disability insured to obtain benefits. The number of credits to be fully insured varies according to the claimant’s age, from six (6) credits for workers disabled before the age of 24 to 40 credits for workers who become disabled at 62 years or older. Workers who become disabled at 31 years or older must also have 20 quarters of credit within the prior 10 years to be disability insured.