There are various factors that go into whether a person qualifies for social security or not. A lot of factors also go into how much a person will actually get if they do qualify.
Those who qualify earned enough throughout their lifetime and paid taxes on their earnings.
So who is it that qualifies for social security?
Credits determines eligibility, not dollar amount. Working over 40 credits doesn’t give you extra benefits.
If you don’t have enough credit then you won’t get social security benefits.
Credits also determine your family’s eligibility for survivors benefits when you die.
This is how credits work:
If born after 1928, you need 40 credits to qualify for benefits.
Starting in 1978 people who work and pay social security benefits earn as many as 4 credits per year. The credits are determined based on total wages and income.
You could work all year to earn 4 credits or earn enough for all 4 faster. Earnings amounts determining a full credit may change yearly.
In 2021, one credit was earned for every $1,470. To get the maximum 4 credits you needed to earn $5,880.
Beginning in January of 2022 it changes to $1,510 for one credit and $6,040 for four credits.
The increase could cause some part-time workers to fall below the cut off next year and not earn a full credit.
Some people earn over 40 credits, but this doesn’t change anything.
The amount is determined from an average of your earnings over the years not the number of credits.
In order for dependent family members to get benefits, the number of credits needed depends on your age when you die.
If you die at a younger age, you need less credits. Nobody needs over 40 credits.
If you don’t have the number of credits necessary, the Social Security Administration can pay the benefits to children and the spouse caring for your children.
A family may get benefits if you have six credits in the three years before your death.
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