YOU ARE ENTITLED TO Social benefits only if you have earned sufficient “work credits” (sometimes referred to as “quarters of coverage”). How many credits you need depends upon how old you are and what the benefits are for–retirement, disability, or survivor’s benefits. The number of credits you need to be eligible for retirement benefits after 1991 is forty. The necessary for disability and survivor’s benefits it shown in 16.1. (Depending upon your financial condition, if you aren’t eligible for Social Security benefits, you may be able to get Supplemental Security Income (SSI, discussed below) or other public assistance.
In 2001, you received one credit for each $830 you made, up to a maximum of four credits for the whole year. (The amount you need to earn for credit goes up each year. For example,in 1999, it was $740, in 2000, it was $780, and in 2001, it was $830.) You can earn four credits in a month, or you can work all year and still not earn a single credit. For instance, if you made $3,320 or more in January of 2001, you earned four credits for that year, even if you didn’t work another day. If you made only $69 a month, you wouldn’t get a single credit, since your total earnings for all of 2001 would be only $828. If you earned $140 a month-$1,680 for the year–you would receive two credits for the whole year.
Would you have received additional credits if you earned more than $3,320 in 2001? No. The most credits you can earn in a single year are four. That doesn’t mean your earnings above $3,320 aren’t taken into consideration. They are used to determine the size of your Social Security check will be–up to a point.
Suppose Heather has been working for several years and has earned ten credits. She decides to have a baby and quits working for a time. Does she lose those ten credits. No. Once you’ve earned a credit, it’s yours for good; nobody can take it away from you. You don’t lose any credits, even if you stop working before you qualify for Social Security benefits. When you get back to work, the new credits will be added to the credits you already have.
It’s a good idea to check your Social Security earnings record every three years or so to make sure your earnings are being reported correctly. You can get free postcard from this at any Social Security office. Be sure to notify Social Security if you change your mind (for example, when you get married and change to your husband’s name, or get divorced and return to using your maiden name) to insure that you receive credit for all of your earnings under your new name. You will have to show sufficient proof to establish your identity, such as a driver’s license, marriage certification, decree of divorce, or court order granting a name change.
It is important to protect your legal rights. Call (916) 922-9902 to speak with a Sacramento work injury attorney who will answer all your questions and provide a clear plan of action with your Sacramento workers compensation and/or Sacramento social security disability claim. Call Sacramento work injury lawyer Tom R. Johnson today.
If you or a loved one has been injured at work it is important to protect your legal rights.
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