Social Security Eligibility

May 22, 2014

Social Security is a topic that is often discussed but do you really understand the scope of Social Security benefits. While Social Security may be thought of as primarily a retirement program, many others are receiving benefits due to disability, or death of a wage earner. As a result you or your dependents may be eligible for benefits at any age.

How do you become eligible for retirement benefits? In 2014 a wage earner will accrue one credit for each $1,200 in earnings, up to the maximum of four credits per year. The amount needed to accrue one credit is adjusted annually. To be eligible for benefits a wage earner will need to accrue a minimum of forty credits over their working life. For younger wage earners with dependents the requirement for eligibility for survivor benefits takes a minimum of six credits earned in the prior three years before date of death, and for disability benefits it is a calculation of credits needed based on the age at which the wage earner becomes disabled.

According to the Social Security Administration, approximately 165 million people are paying Social Security taxes and about 58 million people receive some sort of monthly Social Security benefit.

So whether you are just starting your working career or are looking forward to ending your working career, Social Security can touch the life of almost every American.

By: Christine Schultz, Accountant

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