When it comes to Social Security benefits, it can be difficult to determine who is eligible to receive compensation and how much money can be expected. This article will break down the basics of who qualifies for Social Security benefits.
How are Benefits Determined?
Social Security benefits can provide payment to replace the income a person would have gained from working a traditional job. These benefits are determined by a specific set of criteria issued by the Social Security Administration (SSA) and are given to qualified retirees and disabled individuals, as well as related family members.
The amount of compensation an individual receives is based on their earnings history, their age, and the age when they apply for Social Security. A person must pay into the Social Security program over the duration of their working years and generally must accrue 40 work credits in order to qualify for benefits. Up to 4 work credits per year can be given based on a person’s annual earnings. To be eligible for most benefits, a person must have earned 1 work credit per year on average between the ages of 21 and 62, or until the age when the person becomes blind or disabled. Regardless of age, a minimum of 6 credits is required to be eligible for benefits.
Who Can Receive Benefits?
Based on their earnings record, a person can receive Social Security benefits if they have enough work credits, are age 62 or older, or are disabled or blind. Family members who are US citizens or legal immigrants may also qualify for benefits for the recipient’s work record without needing their own work credits. A spouse can qualify under many circumstances, and the same goes for a divorced co-parent.
Additionally, a dependent parent aged 62 or older may also qualify for Social Security benefits of a deceased worker. Unmarried children may also be eligible if they are under 18, 18 to 19 and a full-time student no higher than grade 12, or 18 or older with a disability that began before age 22. Our knowledgeable representatives could further advise on who may be eligible for Social Security benefits through a family member under the specific circumstances.
Call Our Office for Questions about Social Security Benefits
Our experienced Social Security representatives could help you through the complicated process of obtaining the benefits you need. For more information about the qualifications for Social Security benefits, call our firm and discuss your questions with an experienced member of our team.