7 Need to Know Facts on Social Security

96% all American workers will be eligible at some point in their life to receive Social Security benefits, obviously after they retire from working.  That might be a fact, but another fact is that Social Security benefits, and your eligibility for them, are rather complicated and highly dependent on specific details and situations based on your work history.

Fact 1: A foreign citizen working legally in the United States, and paying Social Security taxes, can accumulate social security credits the same way a regular US citizen does.  However, some visa categories aren’t eligible to earn those credits. Also, if you earn Social Security benefits (or something similar) in another country, it could affect you’re ability to receive them in the United States.

Fact 2: The United States won’t allow you to receive your social security benefits in some countries, including Cuba, North Korea, Vietnam and 11 others, so if you are thinking about retiring abroad be sure to make arrangements to have your social security benefits paid to you.

Fact 3: if you were born after 1929, which is now a vast majority of the population, you need to work for at least 10 years in order to qualify for Social Security retirement benefits. Those years don’t have to be consecutive but they have to add up to 120 months.

Fact 4: in order to be able to start receiving your benefits, and you need to reach what is known as the “full retirement age”. That depends on the year you were born and a few other factors. 62 is the youngest age that you can start collecting and 70 is the oldest that you can put off collecting your benefits.

Fact 5: The Social Security Administration (SSA) adjusts your benefits based on the age you are when you retire and start taking benefits. In the end, the amount of money you receive in benefits will be about the same no matter when you start taking them.

Fact 6: As a spouse, even if you’ve never worked, you can receive benefits based on the income that your partner made.

Fact 7: If you’re divorced and never remarried, you maybe eligible for ex-spouse Social Security benefits starting at age 62 as long as you were married for 10 years. These benefits can be as low as 32.5% and as high as 50%, depending on when you start claiming them.

The bottom line is that many factors influence your Social Security benefits and eligibility. How much you receive depends on how much you’ve earned, how many independent or disabled children you have, whether you’re a widow or widower and a number of other things.

In short, ask a financial specialist to help you figure it out and do your due diligence online as well.


  1. marilyn carter says

    My children were getting benefits off their dads disability until i began work in 2012, now i been out of work since march 2015 are they eligible again

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