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What Are the Eligibility Requirements To Receive Social Security?

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Regardless of your age, you may be wondering, “What are the eligibility requirements to receive Social Security?” If you’re uncertain whether you qualify for social security, consult with a Sacramento Social Security eligibility professional.

All forms of getting Social Security depend on how long you’ve worked while paying Social Security taxes; in order to collect benefits (including for your beneficiaries), you must have worked for the required amount of time along with satisfying other applicable criteria.

What are the eligibility requirements to receive Social Security?

Social Security in Retirement or Survivors Benefits

The first way you can be eligible for Social Security payments is if you have reached retirement age, which begins at 62, despite the Social Security Administration (SSA) not considering a “full” retirement age until age 67. Retirement benefits require you to have worked for ten or more years.

Another form of collecting Social Security exists for family members– widowers, widows, and dependents –of a deceased worker who met the minimum amount of work history required for benefits; this is known as survivor benefits.

You cannot report a relative/spouse’s death or apply for these benefits online; you must speak with a Social Security representative as soon as you’re able. Depending on the age of the deceased worker, as well as if the beneficiary has a disability, the required number of years worked may be less than the usual 10.

Qualifying for Social Security Disability Insurance

In order to be eligible for Disability or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), you must have sufficient work history along with a disability or blindness; the SSA defines a qualifying disability as one that has impacted your ability to work for a year or longer, or a condition that will result in your death.

If you are still working, your disability must limit you from earning a certain amount of income. Currently, the limit is $1,500 per month or $2,590 if you are considered blind according to their standards; there is a different standard for calculating the monthly limit if you’re self-employed.

Generally, if you otherwise qualify and have worked at least five years of the last decade, you are eligible for Disability benefits. If you are under 24 years old, less working time may be required to receive Disability. If you are or were married to someone receiving Disability or the child of one, you may be eligible to get benefits as well.

If you’re unsure whether you’re eligible or what criteria must be met in order to qualify, you can speak to the SSA or an attorney experienced in Social Security procedure.

Social Security Through Supplemental Security Income

Adults and children may be eligible to receive monthly Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments if they (or their parents) have minimal to no income/resources as well as have a disability, blindness, or are 65 years or older.

Your monthly income– which includes unemployment, Disability, pensions, and wages –must be less than $1,971 for you to be eligible for SSI as an individual. The income limit is more for couples and parents applying for their children.

The SSA considers having little to no resources, such as having vehicles, bank account funds, etc., that amount to $2,000 or less for individuals or $3,000 or less for couples; these respective limits increase by $2,000 if a parent is applying for their child.

If you are 65 or older, you do not need to have a disability in order to qualify for SSI. If you are 64 or younger, your condition must have affected your ability to work for a year or more or is expected to result in your death; for children to be eligible, the disability must severely limit their day-to-day activities. Individuals with a disability must also prove that they have earned less than $1,550 within the month they are applying for SSI.


Q: What Are the Qualifications to Receive Social Security?

A: Depending on the type of benefits you’re applying for, the minimum qualification is sufficient working history. If you are in the retiring age range, you likely qualify if you have worked for ten or more years.

For survivor benefits, the deceased worker must have worked enough years, which varies depending on their age, in order for their beneficiaries to qualify. If disabled and/or 65 or older, you must meet the minimum time or degree of affliction(s) as well as earn less than the prescribed income limit.

Q: What Disqualifies You From Social Security?

A: If you– or your benefactor (e.g., spouse, deceased relative) –haven’t worked and contributed to Social Security taxes for the amount required for the type of benefits you’re seeking, you will not be eligible.

In addition to not meeting any other applicable criteria such as wage limits or a disability, you may be disqualified from Social Security if you retire in certain foreign countries, don’t pay taxes if self-employed, or have a job not covered by Social Security, among other circumstances.

Q: Can a Person Who Has Never Worked Collect Social Security?

A: It is possible for a child or an adult who has never worked to collect social security if their parent(s), spouse (or certain ex-spouses), or deceased benefactor qualified for Social Security. Depending on the type of Social Security benefits, a person may qualify for monthly benefit payments if their benefactor has enough work history and is blind or disabled, eligible for Supplemental Security Income, and/or in the retirement age range.

Q: Can a Noncitizen Get Social Security Benefits?

A: Generally, yes, a lawful noncitizen (including immigrants authorized to work) can receive Social Security benefits if they meet all eligibility requirements. To continue receiving benefits after six months outside the U.S., noncitizens must continue meeting certain criteria to keep collecting Social Security.

For Supplemental Security Income, some noncitizens may qualify as there are different requirements.

Qualified Legal Help To Acquire Social Security Benefits

The professional team at Gade & Parekh, LLP can help you find out if and how you’re eligible for Social Security, including the advantages and disadvantages of collecting benefits early. Our experienced attorneys also help clients access disability benefits, including filing a claim and appealing a denial of benefits. Contact our office to discuss your situation and receive knowledgeable legal advice.

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