Social security disability is open to anyone who is employed and a citizen of the United States of America. Social security retirement is available to anyone who has paid into the social security system and worked for at least 10 years, accumulating 40 credits. You earn 4 credits for each year you work and earn one credit for every $1120 earned.
Retirement is available to anyone who reaches the age of 62. This is considered early retirement and your benefits will be less than if you wait until age 65. If your were born in 1959 or later the retirement age is 67. You can elect to wait until age 70 to retire which raises your retirement benefit by 7 to 8 percent for each year you wait.
If you cannot remember what estimate was on your last social security statement, you can use the social security retirement estimator to get an estimate of what you will receive in retirement benefits. This estimate will also tell you how hold you will have to be to receive full benefits and how much you’ll receive if you retire early at age 62.
If you didn’t work but you are married to someone who died and earned retirement benefits, you may be eligible to receive benefits from their earnings. If you are still married when they die, you will receive full benefits at retirement age and partial benefits at age 50 if disabled and reduced benefits as early as age 60. You may even receive benefits if you remarry after age 60. You may also receive benefits at any time if you are responsible for caring for the children of the deceased.
In other words, check your eligibility. You may have more social security benefits coming to you than you realize. Your earnings are not the only things determining your eligibility for benefits. Call social security and get an estimate of what benefits you can expect to receive.