HomeLocal NewsCan You Get Social Security If You Never Worked? A Must-Read

Can You Get Social Security If You Never Worked? A Must-Read

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Social security benefits have proven to be a vital source of income for retirees. But can you get Social Security if you never worked? Or are the benefits only for retirees? This post contains answers to questions regarding the subject. 

Generally, a United States citizen must work for around 10 years to qualify for social security benefits. But the question is what if you haven’t worked? Are you qualified to get it? If yes, how can you go about it? 

Here, we explained your chances of getting Social Security even if you have never worked, and the options available to citizens. Keep reading to learn more and make an informed decision.

Can You Get Social Security If You Never Worked?

You can get Social Security even if you never worked, but that’s not all. This can only happen when you have a sibling, child or spouse who has worked and contributed to Social Security for at least 10 years. 

The Social Security Administration has strict rules and won’t compromise for whatever reason. You must have contributed to the system for at least 10 years to qualify for social security benefits. If you contribute for 8 years, you aren’t eligible. 

Note also that you mustn’t contribute for 10 consecutive years. But cumulatively, it should be at least 10 years. The only way to qualify for Social Security with less time work is if you have a disability. However, you must have paid some social security taxes to qualify. 

The only set of people who can legally claim social security benefits even though they have never worked is family members of an individual who has worked and paid social security taxes for at least 10 years. 

These include the following:

  • Non-working spouses
  • Parents
  • Siblings
  • Ex-spouses

The people in the category above can claim spousal, child or survivor’s benefits, depending on the eligible workers’ earning record. The social security agency considers an individual’s earning record and social security taxes paid when assessing their eligibility. 

Can You Get Social Security Even If You Never Worked or Have Someone That Has Worked?

Social Security boasts diverse programs, including benefits. The benefits include survivor’s, disability and retirement benefits. 

However, the possibility of qualifying for these benefits depends on several factors. These include your work history and if you have paid your social security taxes satisfactorily.  

Now, here’s the good part. You can get Social Security even though you haven’t worked, or have someone who has. Social Security designed for people who haven’t worked is supplemental security income (SSI).

In the SSI, the work history of beneficiaries isn’t a factor in receiving benefits. Instead, it’s a need-based program designed to identify and provide financial help to retirees and disabled people in society.

To be eligible for SSI, you have to meet specific financial requirements. Your asset must be less than $2000, minus some exceptions. 

Social security income isn’t much. In 2019, the amount paid to eligible citizens was $779. But there was an 8.7% increase which became effective in January 2023. The monthly pay for an eligible individual increased to $914. The maximum Federal amount for an eligible individual increased to $1,371, while the maximum amount for an essential person is now $458.  

Are Noncitizens Working In the U.S. Qualified For Social Security Benefits? 

There are two types of noncitizens: documented (legally working and living in the U.S.) and undocumented (illegally working and living in the U.S.). If you legally live and work in the United States of America and pay your social security taxes (for at least 10 years), you’re qualified to get social security benefits. 

It doesn’t matter whether you have earned citizenship or not. What matters is that you are working in the country legally and paying social security taxes. Consequently, you are qualified for social security benefits like every other U.S. citizen. 

Can you get Social Security if you are undocumented but working in the United States of America? Unfortunately, the answer is no. 

Undocumented citizens cannot lay claim to social security benefits. Of course, they pay Social Security via payroll taxes, but that isn’t enough. It doesn’t matter if you have been paying your Social Security for 10 years or more. The fact that you’re undocumented disqualifies you from getting social security benefits.

In summary, if you’re working legally in the United States and paying Social Security for at least 10 years, you can claim Social Security like every regular citizen. 

If you’re undocumented, forget about applying for social security benefits. You won’t get it. 

Ways You Can Collect Social Security Benefits Even If You Have Never Worked

We have provided some hints on how to qualify for social security benefits even if you have never worked. But we’re going to expound on the different processes in this section. 

Social security benefits are a huge lifeline for retirees. It allows them to afford the necessities of life and keep things going. But the condition to get this benefit is that one must have worked and paid Social Security for at least 10 years. 

Below are the different ways to claim social security benefits even if you haven’t worked. 

1: Spousal benefits:

Are you a spouse to someone who has paid their social security taxes up-to-date and is eligible for benefits? If yes, you automatically qualify for spousal benefits based on your spouse’s work record. 

The maximum amount you’ll receive will be 50% of the complete amount your spouse was supposed to earn at full retirement age. However, you can still claim the full amount. All you need to do is be patient until your FRA (full retirement age) to claim. You’ll receive a much-reduced benefit if you retire early. 

Your full retirement age is around 66 and a few months, or 67 years. It depends on the year you were given birth to. 

You can also receive spousal benefits even if you’re eligible for social security benefits based on your work record. But keep in mind that you cannot receive both. Instead, you’ll get the benefit with the highest amount, not both.

2: Divorce benefits:

You can get social security benefits even if you’re no longer with your partner. However, there are specific requirements you must meet. One is that the marriage must have lasted for at least 10 years. 

In addition, you must not remarry when filing for divorce benefits. And if you qualify, you can only get 50% of your spouse’s full retirement benefit.

If your ex-spouse whose record you’re claiming the benefits on remarries, it won’t affect your divorce benefits. You will still get 50% of your ex-spouse’s FRA.

A Handy Tip: Ensure you wait at least two years after the divorce before requesting benefits. Let your ex-spouse file for Social Security before you start requesting divorce benefits. 

3: Survivor’s benefits

Here is another benefit you can claim. Survivor’s benefit is available to people who were financially dependent on an individual who passed away. Survivor benefits are generally reserved for widowers and widows though they can be accessible to parents, ex-spouses, children, and other family members in some cases.   

So, do you believe you qualify for survivor’s benefits? If yes, contact the Social Security Administration and listen to what the agency says about your status.  

The amount you can receive for survivor benefits depends on several factors. These include your relationship with the deceased, your age, and the deceased work record. 

If you’re a widow or widower, have reached full retirement age, and your spouse qualifies for social security benefits, you may likely be entitled to claim his or her entire benefits.      

Conclusion  

Can you get Social Security if you never worked? Yes, you can get social Security if you never worked. You can get social security income. Another option is to have someone who is qualified for Social Security. 

The person could be your spouse, ex-spouse, or relative. You can get divorce benefits, survival benefits, or spousal benefits. Just check the one you qualify for. Contact the Social Security Administration to find out the benefits you qualify for. 

To qualify for Social Security, one has to work for at least 10 years and pay their social security taxes. The only way to qualify with less work is via disability. You have to work and pay your social security taxes to a certain level to qualify for benefits.

Jason Cooper
Jason Cooper
Jason Cooper is a dedicated news blogger with a zeal for storytelling. Enthusiastically covering current events, he constantly seeks fresh angles and innovative ways to refine his craft and engage his readers.

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