How to Qualify to Receive Social Security Benefits


For the average person now aged 65 or older, their Social Security benefits cover about 39% of their retirement income.

For a family child care provider who has worked at her job for most of her working life, this percentage may be higher.

This means that Social Security is a significant source of retirement income. Child care providers should therefore make sure that they are qualifying to receive Social Security benefits.

Social Security Rules

You need to have worked and paid Social Security taxes for a certain length of time to get Social Security benefits.  This means earning at least 40 “credits” by working at least ten years (earning four credits per year). You don’t have to work ten consecutive years. The years you might have worked outside your home at another job count towards this ten year work requirement.

Note: You can easily find out if you have already qualified to receive Social Security benefits by looking up your Social Statement on their website:

Another requirement to qualify to receive Social Security benefits is that you need earn a minimum amount of profit each year. For 2014 if your profit is $4,800 or more you will earn the yearly maximum of four credits. To qualify to receive one quarterly credit, you will need to show a profit of at least $1,200 in that quarter.

If you are earning less than $1,200 in profit each quarter there is an optional method you can use (for up to five years) to earn qualifying credits.

For more information, see this informative notice “If You Are Self Employed” from the Social Security Administration.

See also my article “Social Security and Family Child Care.”

Tom Copeland –

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Money Management smallFor more information about Social Security and retirement planning, see my book Family Child Care Money Management and Retirement Guide.



Categories: Money Management & Retirement, Retirement Planning

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