Social Security payments are the golden carrot for many American employees at the conclusion of a lengthy career. According to the Social Security Administration, you can begin receiving some Social Security benefits as early as age 62,
but you will continue to get a larger amount each year you wait until you are 70. However, this presupposes that you have earned enough credits to be eligible for these rewards.
Not every employee is eligible for these benefits, and it’s preferable to know ahead of time so you can either correct the problem or make alternate retirement arrangements. There are a few instances where a worker’s Social Security benefits were not obtained.
Here are six reasons why you might not be able to participate.
Insufficient Social Security Benefits
According to the American Association of Retired People, in order to pay your way into the Social Security system, you must work and earn “credits” that allow you to qualify for these benefits, which begin upon retirement (AARP).
For every $1,470 in earnings or self-employment revenue generated in 2021, you received one credit. According to the Social Security Administration, the maximum number of credits you may get in a year is four.
To be eligible for any type of Social Security payment, a person must have a total of 40 credits. You may not be eligible for these perks if you haven’t worked long enough to acquire all 40 credits.
You’re a Government Employee, right?
While the government normally looks after its employees, there are several exceptions for employees who do not get Social Security benefits at the state, county, and municipal levels.
Instead, these workers contribute to and get benefits through state-funded pension programs. Among them are:
- Railroad personnel — their pension system dates back to the 1930s. U.S. government employees employed before 1984 — earn pensions under the old Civil Service Retirement System.
- Foreign people who work for their home governments in the United States, such as ambassadors or employees of international organizations like the United Nations
- Most first responders/safety workers, such as cops and firemen
- Many K-12 educators
If You Haven’t Paid Your Self-Employment Tax
Many self-employed business owners are unaware that they are now required to pay into Social Security twice: once as an individual and again on behalf of their company.
You must pay self-employment tax together with your federal tax return. You may not have enough Social Security credits to get benefits when you retire if you either do not file a tax return or file it properly (and, if you continually do not pay these taxes, you can get into legal trouble).
Some Divorced Individuals
Be cautious if you are divorced and did not earn enough credits to qualify for Social Security benefits on your own and are banking on receiving half of your ex-benefits.
- After the April Cpi Report, the 2023 Social Security Cola Estimate Drops Slightly but Remains at the Highest Level in 41 Years!
- The Benefits From Social Security Could Get Their Biggest Increase in 40 Years. Here’s What You Can Expect!
- The Largest Cost-of-living Increase in 40 Years Could Be Experienced by Social Security Recipients!
spouse, You must be unmarried, at least 62 years old, and have earned less money and received fewer benefits than your ex-spouse. According to Investopedia, if you were married for less than ten years, you are not able to receive your spouse’s benefits.
If You Want to Retire in a Foreign Country
According to Investopedia, if you retire outside of the United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the United States Virgin Islands, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, or American Samoa, you may not be eligible for Social Security benefits.
Azerbaijan, Belarus, Cuba, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, North Korea, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan are among the nations to which the US will not provide funds.
There may be exceptions, so check the Social Security Administration’s “Benefits Abroad Screening Tool” to see if you are eligible to receive payments while residing outside the United States.
Immigrants who arrived later in life in the United States and did not obtain the required 40 work credits to qualify for Social Security benefits will not be able to access these monies when they retire.
However, there is a solution: obtain six labor credits in the United States, which will entitle the individual to prorated US benefits. A “totalization agreement” can be used to combine this with prorated benefits from their former nation.