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How much work do you need for benefits for your children?

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The amount of work you need to qualify for Social Security benefits depends on how old you are when you retire, become disabled,or die. The younger you are, the less work you need.

Parents under age 24 need as little as one and one-half years of work under Social Security for their children to receive Social Security benefits. The amount of work needed increases with age, but you would not need more than 10 years of work to be insured for all benefits.

Career and Homemaking

If you alternate between a career and homemaking, you need to be aware that you can maintain your full Social Security protection with a little attention. Any Social Security credits you earn remain on your record, and after ten years of work in which you have earned the maximum of four credits each year, you are fully insured for retirement, disability, and survivors benefits.

Disablity Benefits

But for disability benefits, you also need to have recent work. For example, if you're over age 30, you need five years of work out of the last 10 years (20 credits). Younger workers need less, as little as year and a half of work out of the past three years. Thus, homemakers need to periodically check their recent work status to make sure they still meet the requirements for the valuable disability protection.

What Every Parent Should Know about Social Security
Baby's First Number
Who Can Get Benefits
How Much Work You Need for Benefits for Your Children
Benefits for Grandchildren
Benefits for Disabled Children
Parents May Qualify for Benefits
Using Social Security for Planning Family Financial Security


More than four million disabled workers under 65 and 1.7 million dependents (including more than a million children) receive Social Security disability benefits.

A 20-year-old worker stands nearly 3 in 10 chance of becoming disabled before age 65.

  Social Security has a toll-free number that operates from 7a.m. to 7p.m., Monday to Friday: 1-800-772-1213 If you have a touch-tone phone, recorded information and services are available 24 hours a day, including weekends and holidays. People who are deaf or hard of hearing may call our toll-free "TTY" number, 1-800-325-0778, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. on Monday through Friday. Please have your Social Security number handy when you call us.

Or you could visit us: click here to find your Social Security office address.
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Last reviewed or modified Wednesday Jul 02, 2008
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