Saturday, April 26, 2008

Do You Qualify for Social Security Benefits?

You qualify for Social Security benefits when you earn enough "credits".  You earn credits by working and paying Social Security Taxes.  These credits are based on the amount of your earnings.  An individuals work history determines if you are eligible for retirement, disability, or your family is eligible for survivors benefits when you die.  For the year 2008 for each $1,050 of earnings you earn one credit, up to a maximum of 4 credits a year.  this amount needed to earn a credit goes up each year.  If you are in the military you also earn work credits.  The number of credits you need to be eligible for benefits depends on your age and type of benefit.  For all those born after 1929 to be eligible for retirement benefits you need 40 credits which amounts to 10 years of work.  For disability eligibility it depends on your age and when you became disabled.  if you became disabled before age 24 you usually need one and a half years of work or 6 credits in the three years prior to you becoming disabled.  If you are between the ages of 24 and 30 then you need credits for half the time until you became disabled.  If you became disabled at 31 years or older then you usually need 20 credits in the ten years before right before you became disabled.  i will now list the credits needed if you became disabled at the following ages:  31-42 years old you need 20 credits, at 44 you would need 22 credits, at 46 it would be 24 credits, at 48 you would need 26 credits, at 50 it would be 28 credits, at 52 you need 30 credits, at 54 you need 32 credits, 56 you need 34 credits, 58 you need 36 credits, 60 you need 38 credits, and at 62 or older you would need 40 credits.  The best way for you to know if you have enough credits is to look at the SSA statement you get every year from Social Security or simply call SSA at 1-800-772-1213.  For information see my website on Social Security Disability Benefits.