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Am I Eligible for Social Security Benefits?

Legally Reviewed and Edited by: Terry Cochran

Social Security was created in 1935, with the passing of the Social Security Act. This legislation was necessary because up until this time, there was no government program available to assist the elderly once they stopped working or became disabled. Before 1935, the care of the elderly was left up to the individual, family members, and states and towns. Currently all people who have worked in the United States, and qualify for Social Security, will receive a benefit. A Social Security Benefits Lawyer at Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C. can investigate your particular case if you have questions about your coverage.

With the Social Security system, a person must work at least ten years and pay into the system to be eligible for benefits. This system is based on a credit earning calculation. Updated in 2019, the law requires a person to have an income of at least $1,360 to earn one credit towards Social Security, and they can earn only four credits per year. Once they earn 40 credits, usually after ten years, then they are eligible for benefits. However, the compensation awarded through Social Security payouts is not available immediately. Social Security places age requirements on this benefit.

When Am I Eligible for Benefits?

Under current Social Security regulations, a person must have reached the age of 62 to receive benefits for living expenses. However, a person can choose to apply earlier and wait until 62, or they can wait to apply until a later age and actually receive a higher yearly amount. The maximum age to start receiving benefits is at age 70. At age 70, you would receive the maximum benefit so waiting longer to apply would not increase the yearly income. This benefit is for life, and it is guaranteed by the U.S. government.

What Happens if I die?

When you die the benefits stop. However, if your spouse is still alive and has not remarried, he or she will receive 71% of the previous benefit, and if you have children under the age of 18, they will also receive a benefit of 75% of the current benefit.

Other Benefits

The Social Security program added other coverages after 1935, to benefit retirees and their families. If you have a child under the age of 22 who is disabled or becomes disabled, then they will receive benefits even after you die.

Social Security program

If you become disabled before the age of 62, you can also claim benefits under Social Security. The rules for this compensation depends on the nature of your disability, and when you became disabled. Under these guidelines if you can earn more than $1,130 a month (in 2016) at a regular job, then you would not qualify for benefits. You also have to wait six months after the disability to file a claim. If you have become disabled or have questions about this process, it is best to contact the Law Offices of Cochran, Kroll & Associates who are qualified Social Security Benefits Lawyers and can research your particular situation.

Final Thoughts

The Social Security administration can be very helpful in explaining your benefits once you are thinking about retirement. However, in many cases, it is a good idea to talk with an attorney who has experience in filing for benefits to make sure you have applied for everything that you are entitled to. At the Law Offices of Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C., we can assist you in your Social Security application or appeal if you have been rejected for benefits. Contact us at or call us at 866-MICH-LAW for a free consultation.

Disclaimer : The information provided is general and not for legal advice. The blogs are not intended to provide legal counsel and no attorney-client relationship is created nor intended.

Tristan is a professional writer and had careers as a teacher of English, school administrator, and as a broker in real estate sales. He has gained a great deal of legal experience through his service as the president of a teacher's union, a member of the board for a real estate association, and as the chairman of the Government Affairs Committee for the real estate board of directors. Before beginning a full-time job as a freelance writer, he was the Executive Director of the Global Business Alliance for a local Chamber of Commerce and sat on the Government Affairs Committee for the Chamber.



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