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Social Security Credits

Social security is something that most people in the United States have to turn to for at least part of their retirement if not all of it. But how does a person know if they will be eligible for social security benefits? How is eligibility earned? Social security credits come into play in the answers to these questions, but that brings up a whole new line of questions. Questions such as, what are social security credits? Below are questions that have been asked regarding social security credits and have been answered by the Experts.

What are social security credits?

Social security credits are what the government uses to determine when an individual is eligibility for disability, a family’s eligibility for survivor benefits when an individual passes, or an individual’s eligibility for retirement. These credits are how an individual qualifies for social security benefits by working and paying social security taxes, while an individual does this they are earning social security credits. These social security credits that are earned as an individual works are based the amount of the earnings, with a maximum of four social security credits per year. Those social security credits that an individual has earned will stay even if the individual changes jobs that may not earn the same amount of credits or if they have no earnings recorded for some time.

What happens to social security credits if an individual moves to the United Kingdom?

If an individual has earned social security credits in the United States, these credits may be applied to U.K. benefits. This is due to a Totalization Agreement that exists between the United States and the United Kingdom. If a person moves to the United Kingdom, when they go to apply for the United Kingdom benefits those officials will contact the Social Security Administration to obtain the records that they need to add the credits earned in the United States to those that were earned in the United Kingdom that would make an individual eligible for benefits. This also works vice versa. A good thing to note though is that even though a person may be eligible for benefits from the U.K. for the credits they earned in the United States they are not eligible for Medicare if living outside of the United States. For more information regarding the Totalization Agreement between the United States and the United Kingdom visit the follow site: http://www.ssa.gov/international/Agreement_Pamphlets/uk.html.

What are options for an individual who has not earned enough or any social security credits when it comes to social security benefits?

There are a few options available to those that have not earned enough social security credits to be eligible for social security benefits. One of the options is the individual is or has been married to another person who has earned the 40 credits that are required to be eligible for social security benefits if they have been married at least 10 years. They may apply for spouse or ex-spouse benefits, for an individual to be able to apply for ex-spouse benefits they must have never remarried. This also is available to those whose spouse is deceased.

Social security credits are used to determine if a person is eligible for social security benefits. Social security credits are earned by paying social security taxes; those that do not pay in social security benefits do not earn credits. There is a max of four credits that can be earned by an individual each year, and the total amount of social security credits needed to be eligible for social security benefits is 40, so a person needs only 10 years of max credit earning years to be eligible to get social security. There are other ways that people who may not have earned enough credits may receive social security benefits, such as spousal benefits.
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