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How You Earn
|1929 or later||40|
If you work for a nonprofit organization that was mandatorily covered by Social Security starting in 1984, a special provision applies that may allow you to receive retirement benefits with fewer credits. For more information, call Social Security to ask for a free copy of the factsheet, If You Work For A Nonprofit Organization (Publication No. 05-10027).
The number of credits required for disability benefits depends on your age when you become disabled.
If you become disabled before age 24, you generally need six credits during the three--year period ending when your disability begins.
If you are 24 through 30, you generally need credits for half of the period between age 21 and the time you become disabled.
If you are disabled at age 31 or older, you need the number of credits shown in the following table. Also, you must have earned at least 20 of the credits in the 10 years immediately before you became disabled.
|Disabled At Age
31 through 42
62 or older
The family of a deceased worker may be able to get survivors benefits, even though the deceased worker had fewer credits than are otherwise needed for retirement benefits.
If you were born in 1929 or before, one credit is needed for each year after 1950, up to the year of death, in order for your family members to collect survivors benefits.
If you were born in 1930 or later, one credit is needed for each year after age 21, up to the year of death.
Regardless of when you were born, your dependent children could get survivors benefits if you had six credits in the three years before your death. Their benefits could continue until they reach age 18 (or age 19 if they are attending an elementary or secondary school full time).
Your widow or widower who is caring for your children who are under age 16 or disabled also may be able to get benefits.
The Social Security credits you earn also count toward eligibility for Medicare when you reach age 65. You may be eligible for Medicare at an earlier age if you are entitled to disability benefits for 24 months or more. Your dependents or survivors also may be eligible for Medicare at age 65 or if they are disabled.
People who need kidney dialysis or a kidney transplant for permanent kidney failure may be eligible for Medicare at any age.
For more information, call Social Security to ask for a free copy of the booklet, Medicare (Publication No. 05--10043).
For More Information
You can get recorded information about Social Security coverage 24 hours a day, including weekends and holidays, by calling Social Security 's toll--free number, 1-800-772-1213. You can speak to a service representative between the hours of 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. on business days. SSA's lines are busiest early in the week and early in the month, so, if your business can wait, it's best to call at other times. Whenever you call, have your Social Security number handy.
People who are deaf or hard of hearing may call SSA's toll--free ìTTYî number, 1--800--325--0778, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. on business days.
The Social Security Administration treats all calls confidentially-whether they're made to our toll-free numbers or to one of SSA's local offices. We also want to ensure that you receive accurate and courteous service. That is why we have a second Social Security representative monitor some incoming and outgoing telephone calls.
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