Do I Qualify for Social Security Benefits?

Social security, enacted in 1935 by Congress, is a critical element of retirement security for many Americans over 80 years old. The program was created to supplement income earned from other sources of revenue. However, over time, it has become the primary source of revenue for most people.In order to be eligible to earn these benefits, participants ought to meet pre-determined earnings requirements.

Fortunately, these pre-determined requirements are easily attainable for most Americans who have worked for a couple of years. It is, therefore, important to submit an application for Social Security benefits. Additionally, making the right decisions can offer optimal monetary stability.

Answer: Do I Qualify for Social Security Benefits?

Under the stipulated rules, participants earn credits towards eligibility by earning particular amounts of income. Most workers collect the required credits without even giving it a thought. Normally, 40 credits, which are easily picked up after a decade of covered employment, are enough. Covered employment describes a job whereby both the employer and the employee pay Social Security taxes. In case the participant is in business, he or she must pay both the employee and employer shares. Currently, close to all jobs are covered. People born prior to 1929, however, require less than 40 credits to be eligible for the program. In 2012, the program awarded its members once credit for every 1130 dollars earned. Each member could only earn a maximum of four credits every year. Please note that the dollar amount rises every annum to match the changes in wages.

Retirees are eligible to earn Social Security benefits in the first month after they attain the age of 62. Moreover, the Social Security pay is released after a month. For this reason, if a member turned 62 on July 20th, for example, he or she becomes eligible for benefits on the 1st of August. The payment, however, will be wired the following month. Keep in mind that applicants do not have to take their benefits immediately they turn 62. The longer they wait, the higher the monthly payment, until they attain the age of 70. After this point, there will be no payoff in delay.

If an applicant is eligible to receive retirement benefits, Social Security can also extend benefits to other members of the applicant’s family under particular conditions. Such instances will not reduce the benefits that the applicant is eligible to earn. Below are some of the eligible dependents.

  • A partner of age 62
  • The applicant’s children
  • Former spouses
  • Grandchildren. If a grandchild depends on a Social Security beneficiary, and the parents of the child do not provide support, the grandchild is eligible to receive Social Security benefits on the beneficiary’s record
  • A partner of any age who provides care to your dependent kid who is younger than 16 years old or is disabled. Please note that Social Security always follows state guidelines in as far as recognizing common-law marriages is concerned. The rules, however, leave some space for different interpretation. By 2012, Social Security did not extend benefits to partners in same-sex marriages.

Additional Resources

The above highlight is just a brief overview of Social Security Benefits Program. There are numerous other sources of information on the internet that can assist Americans to gain more understanding about Social Security. Below are some of the recommended sources.

  1. - This website provides a free service for prospective beneficiaries to understand benefit programs in a clearer way. The service can help its online visitors to determine their eligibility status for over 30 benefit programs.
  2. Social Security Administration - This website seeks to offer financial protection to all Americans. Given that Social Security is among the most beneficial anti-poverty programs in the U.S, this website has illustrated, in brief, how one can determine his or her eligibility status.
  3. AARP - This is the AARP social security resource center. This website provides practical information regarding how the benefits program operates. The website can also be used to clarify eligibility stipulations. It functions as a Q+A tool, so ask away!

Questions to Consider