You must be insured under the Social Security
program before retirement, survivors, or disability insurance benefits
can be paid to you or your family.
Your lifetime earnings on record
are reported under your Social Security Number (SSN). The number of
quarters you have covered credits determine if you have enough credits
for insured status.
Insured status is required before you can receive
any type of benefit. "Fully insured status" is only one requirement
for determining whether you receive a particular type of benefit.
However, it does not mean that you can receive all types of benefits
on your Social Security record, or does it have anything to do with
the amount of benefits that are paid.
Becoming Fully Insured
You are fully insured if:
A. You have at least one credit for each calendar year after 1950;
B. If later than 1950, you have at least one credit for each calendar
year after you turned 21 and the earliest of the following:
The year before your turn 62;
The year you die; or
The year you become disabled.
You can obtain covered credits and count them in any year.
The following individuals are also fully insured:
A. Males born before January 2, 1911, need one credit for each
year after 1950 up to the year below that occurs first:
They turn 65;
They die; or
They become disabled; and
B. Males born from January 2, 1911, through January 1, 1913,
need one credit for each year after 1950 up the year below that occurs
They die; or
They become disabled.
In determining the number of years to be used in computing your credits,
any year (all or part of a year) that was included in a period of
disability is not counted.
In order to be considered for fully insured status, you need at least
six credits. No more than 40 credits are required, regardless of your
date of birth.
If you turned 72 before 1972, you may be entitled to a special cash
monthly payment. This is true even if you are not fully insured.
You are entitled to retirement insurance benefits if you:
Are at least age 62 throughout your first month of entitlement
and are fully insured; and
Have filed an application for retirement insurance benefits.
If you met the requirements in (1) above before the month you filed
the application, you may be entitled to retirement insurance benefits
back to the first month in which you met those requirements. There
are certain limitations.