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Excerpted from "Social Security Handbook". See the up-to-date, official Social Security Handbook at

Insured Status Requirements


200. Insured Status Requirements

200.1 Why is insured status important?

You must be insured under the Social Security program before retirement, survivors, or disability insurance benefits can be paid to you or your family.

200.2 Are Social Security credits used to determine insured status?

We consider the number of Social Security credits you earned to determine if you have:

  1. Fully insured status;

  2. Currently insured status; or

  3. Insured status for establishing a period of disability.

You earn Social Security credits (previously called quarters of coverage) for a certain amount of work covered under Social Security. (See §§211-215.)

Note: Under Section 211 of the Social Security Protection Act of 2004 ("SSPA," or Public Law 108-203), certain alien workers must meet additional requirements to be fully or currently insured and to establish entitlement to benefits based on the alien's earnings. (See §201.)

Last Revised: Aug. 1, 2006

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I have an ID number

January 5, 2012 by Guest

I have an ID number that SS gave me to be able to check on the status of my disability claim. Where do I use this?

Check Social Security claim status

January 5, 2012 by David Luhman

You can check your claim status here :

You will need a confirmation number for the above service.

Can I work and receive benefits?

February 15, 2012 by Guest

I turned 66 in Sept. 2011. I am still full time employed. Am I eligible to receive benefits without penalties now?

Full retirement age and effect on Social Security earnings limit

February 15, 2012 by David Luhman

For folks like you born 1943 and 1954, your full retirement age is 66. A beneficiary reaching full retirement age can earn $38,880 a year and not lose any benefits in 2012. The SSA will deduct $1 for every $3 earned above $38,880.

when to file for social security

February 21, 2012 by Guest

I will be 66 in May, 2012, when do I file for social security and get the full amount ?

When to apply for Social Security retirement benefits

February 21, 2012 by David Luhman

Generally, you should apply for retirement benefits three months before you want your benefits to begin.

Note that timing does not have to be as exact as you may think as the monthly benefit rises gradually (0.67 percent per month) in the months before and after you reach age 66.

See the following for reference :

School Teacher

February 22, 2012 by Guest

I reach full retirement on 12/25/2013 (age 66). If I retire from teaching
and receive a pension of approximately $1100.00 how will that effect my SS benefit when I become full retirement age for Social Security?

And, if I continue teaching past age 66, how is that effecting my SS benefit.

School pension and effect of work on Social Security benefits

February 22, 2012 by David Luhman

Regarding your pension, if you didn't pay Social Security taxes as a teacher, your Social Security benefit may be reduced. See the following link :

Regarding the "earnings limit", please see the following links :

Social security benefits for disabilities

March 7, 2012 by Guest

Where do i find a list of ailments that make you eligible for benefits?


March 22, 2012 by Guest

My son wants to take on line classes. He was getting serviors benefits before can he still get this if he goes back to school online.

Survivor benefits and online classes

March 22, 2012 by David Luhman

Benefits for surviving children generally end when the child reaches age 19 or graduates from high school. In general there are no survivor benefits for children who attend college.

You don't mention your son's age, but unless your son is disabled I doubt he can resume survivor benefits.


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