How Many Social Security Credits Do I Have?

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You work hard. You pay taxes. You make contributions to Social Security through payroll deductions, and in return you build up credits toward your future retirement benefits. But have you ever wondered exactly how many of those credits you now have? How do they add up over a career? What would happen if you wanted to take time off from working or caring for a child or family member? And are there times when other family members could use your work history to get benefits? Don’t worry, we’ll break it down for you.

Who Get Social Security Credits and Why?

Social Security benefits are available to you if you meet the following criteria:

  • You’re at least 62 years old.
  • You’re receiving Social Security disability or SSI benefits before reaching full retirement age (currently 66).
  • Your spouse is at least age 62 and collects benefits based on your work record. If your spouse’s deceased, they must have reached their full retirement age before passing away.
  • Your parent receives retired worker or dependent parent benefits based on your work history.
How Many Social Security Credits Do I Have? Source:

How Do I Earn Social Security Credits?

You can earn Social Security credits by working in a job where you pay Social Security taxes. You don’t have to work every year, or even at all. You just need to be earning wages while working in an employment situation that’s covered under the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA). This includes wages paid by any employer, including the federal government, state governments and local municipalities.

There are no minimum guidelines regarding how many jobs you must hold before receiving these credits. However, most applications for benefits require you to prove that you have earned 40 credits over a period of 10 years (the equivalent of about four years’ worth of work) as a general guideline. If you don’t meet this requirement but believe your circumstances warrant exception from this rule, there may be other criteria that can help determine whether additional consideration is warranted based on factors such as whether your last job paid into FICA or whether it was voluntary retirement or disability retirement—and what kind of work history would help show your ability and desire to work full time again at some point in the near future

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All told: The more money (in wages) that flows through FICA-covered employers during their lifetime—whether those employers are public agencies closely associated with state governments like NYC Transit Authority or Chicago Transit Authority; private companies like Walmart stores nationwide; nonprofits like YMCAs across America; military bases abroad such as Ramstein Air Base Germany; etc.—the more likely they’ll receive credit toward their eventual eligibility for benefits once they reach retirement age!

What Determines How Many Credits I Need?

You need a certain number of credits to be eligible for retirement, survivor, and disability benefits. Your work history determines the amount of credits you have. Some people get more than 20 years in one job, while others switch jobs many times with low-paying or part-time jobs. People who get Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) usually don’t have enough work credits to file for retirement benefits later on because SSDI doesn’t count as work experience when calculating Social Security credits.

If you’re over age 24 and do not have enough work experience to qualify for Social Security benefits based on your own earnings record, you may be able to get some additional credit by crediting dependent children against your total number of required years until age 65 if they were disabled before age 22 and lived with you during that time period; if they became disabled at any point after turning 22 but lived with you between ages 18 through 21; or if they were unmarried children under 18 who lived with their parents until reaching age 18 even though it wasn’t required by law (for example: military family members).

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You also may be able to receive extra credit for other types of coverage such as unemployment compensation or railroad retirement benefits provided those records are available online through our Electronic Benefits Transfer System (eBTS).

How Many Credits Do You Need to Qualify for SSI or SSD Benefits?

The amount of credits you need to qualify for SSI or SSD benefits depends on your age and blindness status.

  • You must have 12 or more credits to qualify for SSI benefits. If you’re younger than 24, you can get SSDI with fewer than 40 credits (20 if disabled). If you’re 55 or older, you can also get SSD with 20 credits (24 if blind).
  • To receive SSD benefits based on your age, disability status and work history, your work record must be sufficient in terms of length and earnings. Generally speaking, 20-29 years’ worth of work activity will suffice; however, the requirements vary depending on which category applies: retirement age versus disabled before retirement age; full-time employment versus part-time employment; self-employed vs non-self employed; or multiple jobs vs single job holders

How Can You Check Your Social Security Credit Status?

  • You can check your status online.
  • You can also check your status by phone.
  • If you prefer to visit a Social Security office, you can do so.
  • You can also check your credit status by mail.
  • Finally, if all other methods fail and it’s still important to know whether or not you have enough credits to meet the requirements of certain jobs or benefits programs, there’s always telegram!
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You can check on the status of your Social Security credits online.

You can check the status of your Social Security credits online. The Social Security Administration has a website where you can enter your social security number and get an estimate of how many credits you have.

You can also call the Social Security Administration or go to a local office to find out if you have enough credits to collect benefits.

How Many Work Credits Do I Need To Receive Social Security Benefits?


The best way to check your Social Security credits is to set up a “my Social Security” account. This will give you instant access to your credit status, as well as provide information about your estimated benefits and other relevant information. If you don’t have an online account, you can contact the Social Security Administration and ask for a statement of earnings over the phone or by mail. As we’ve seen throughout this article, your credits are essential for obtaining SSI and SSD benefits. That’s why it’s crucial that you understand how many credits you currently have – and how many more credits you need – in order to qualify for disability benefits.

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