Am I eligible for Social Security Benefits?

To be eligible for Social Security Benefits, you need to have worked for at least 10 years (40 quarters). Even if you have accumulated your 40 credits, you can't start getting benefit payments until you're 62 or older. You are also be eligible for Social Security if you are a spouse/widow(er) of someone who has earned the required credits.

Spouses are also eligible to receive Social Security benefits, even if they have limited or non-existent work histories. A divorced spouse can also receive spousal benefits, if the marriage lasted 10 years or longer.

If you are the widow or widower of a person who worked long enough under Social Security, you can receive full benefits at full retirement age for survivors or reduced benefits as early as age 60, or begin receiving benefits as early as age 50 if you are disabled and the disability started before or within seven years of the worker's death.

How do I know I am getting credit for years I worked?

You can find out how many Social Security credits you have accumulated by viewing your Social Security statement. There are three ways to access your statement:

  • Option 1

    You can check out your Social Security statement by going to the Social Security website. You need a "my Social Security account" to see your statement. For help on how to set up your my Social Security account, click the link below:

    How to Set Up "my Social Security Account"

    Once logged in, you will see a record of your earnings history, the number of credits you’ve accumulated to date, and an estimate of the retirement benefits available if you wait until full retirement age. Be sure to check the statement closely to make sure all the information is accurate.

  • Option 2

    Check your mail. The Social Security Administration mails out a summary of your benefits about three months before your birthday each year.

  • Option 3

    You can request a copy of your summary sheet by calling the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213 and asking for a SSA-7004 form. You can also download the form by using the link below:

    Download the Form