8 Types of Americans Who Aren’t Eligible to Get Social Security

Does everybody get Social Safety? No. Nonetheless, American employees who won’t qualify for Social Safety retirement advantages are comparatively uncommon. In case you are certainly one of them, it’s essential to know, so you’ll be able to safe different sources of earnings or decide whether or not it’s doable so that you can change into eligible. What follows are the eight most typical classes of employees who lack Social Safety eligibility and thus aren’t entitled to advantages.


Key Takeaways

  • Some American employees don’t qualify for Social Safety retirement advantages.
  • Employees who do not accrue the requisite 40 credit (roughly 10 years of employment) aren’t eligible for Social Safety.
  • Some authorities and railroad workers aren’t eligible for Social Safety.
  • American expatriates retiring in sure international locations—and a few retired immigrants to the U.S.—cannot acquire Social Safety advantages.
  • Divorced spouses married for fewer than 10 years can not declare advantages based mostly on the earnings of their ex-spouse.

1. Employees With Too Few Social Safety Credit

Are you able to get Social Safety in case you by no means labored? No, as a result of a minimal requirement to gather Social Safety retirement advantages is performing sufficient work. The Social Safety Administration (SSA) defines sufficient work as incomes 40 Social Safety credit. Extra particularly, in 2022, a person receives one credit score for every $1,510 in earnings, they usually can earn a most of 4 credit per yr. So, 40 credit are roughly equal to 10 years of labor.

For those who earn the federal minimal wage of $7.25 an hour, then you definitely’ll want 208.28 hours of labor to obtain one credit score towards Social Safety. By working simply 17 hours every week for 50 weeks at this wage (permitting your self a two-week trip), you’ll be able to earn the utmost credit per yr. Which means even those that work part-time to allow them to attend college or care for a kid—or those that work part-time as a result of they can not discover full-time work—can amass Social Safety credit with out an excessive amount of bother.

Earned credit are accrued over an individual’s lifetime and by no means expire, so anybody who has left the workforce with near 40 credit would possibly think about going again and doing the minimal further work they should qualify. You may examine the variety of credit you may have up to now by opening a Social Safety account on the Social Safety web site and downloading your Social Safety assertion.

2. Employees Who Die Earlier than Age 62

The minimal age to start out claiming Social Safety retirement advantages is 62. If somebody dies prematurely, then dependent youngsters and spouses could also be entitled to survivor advantages. At age 60, for instance, widows and widowers can start receiving Social Safety advantages based mostly on their deceased partner’s earnings file (disabled spouses can begin at age 50). Terminally in poor health sufferers can apply for Social Safety Incapacity Insurance coverage (SSDI), which suggests they may nonetheless obtain some profit from their contributions to the system.

What if you’re terminally in poor health and attain the minimal retirement age? In case you are single, claiming immediately often is the best technique. Nevertheless, when you’ve got a partner, suspending might present your partner with larger advantages. The spousal profit will be as a lot as 50% of the employee’s profit, relying on the partner’s age at retirement and if the partner is eligible for retirement advantages based mostly on their very own earnings file. The Social Safety Administration has a web-based calculator that helps decide advantages for spouses.

3. Sure Divorced Spouses

Divorced individuals will be entitled to gather Social Safety advantages based mostly on the earnings of an ex-spouse. Typically these are full-time homemakers or stay-at-home mother and father who didn’t work. To get the advantages, they should be single, 62 or older, and have earned much less in advantages based mostly on their very own work file than that of their ex. If the wedding lasted for fewer than 10 years, they don’t seem to be eligible to assert any spousal advantages.

4. Employees Who Retire in Sure International Nations

U.S. residents who journey to—or dwell in—most international international locations after they retire often can obtain Social Safety advantages. Nevertheless, if that nation is Azerbaijan, Belarus, Cuba, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, North Korea, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, or Uzbekistan, then the federal government won’t ship them Social Safety funds. Exceptions could also be out there in all of those international locations besides Cuba and North Korea. The federal government’s Funds Overseas Screening Device is a simple approach to examine if it is possible for you to to proceed receiving Social Safety advantages whereas dwelling overseas or if restrictions will apply.

5. Sure Noncitizens

Sure noncitizens who’ve earned 40 Social Safety work credit in america are eligible to obtain Supplemental Safety Earnings (SSI) advantages. Immigrants who would not have sufficient U.S. credit however who come from one of many 30 international locations with whom america has Social Safety agreements, also called “totalization agreements,” might qualify to obtain prorated advantages.

These advantages are based mostly on their work credit earned overseas mixed with their U.S. work credit, an association that’s significantly useful for older immigrants who aren’t more likely to accumulate 10 years of labor in america earlier than retiring. Employees who haven’t earned not less than six U.S. credit, nevertheless, can not obtain funds beneath totalization agreements.

6. Sure Authorities and Railroad Workers

There are some jobs that don’t pay into Social Safety. Federal authorities workers employed earlier than 1984 are included within the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS), which supplies retirement, incapacity, and survivor advantages. These employees didn’t have Social Safety taxes deducted from their paychecks and thus aren’t eligible to obtain Social Safety advantages.

They might nonetheless qualify if they’ve earned advantages by way of one other job or a partner. Nevertheless, in these circumstances, CSRS pension funds might cut back Social Safety payouts. Authorities employees who’re lined by the Federal Workers Retirement System (FERS), which changed CSRS, are eligible for Social Safety advantages. 

Most state and native workers have Social Safety safety beneath a federal Part 218 settlement. Nevertheless, a few of these employees—together with those that work for a public college system, faculty, or college—won’t obtain Social Safety advantages if they don’t pay Social Safety taxes. They often obtain pension advantages from their employers.

Railroad Workers

Some railroad workers aren’t lined by Social Safety. Employees with not less than 10 years of service within the railroad trade (or not less than 5 years after 1995) have their retirement advantages lined by way of the Railroad Retirement Board. The RRB is an impartial federal company that administers numerous employment advantages for railroad trade workers and their households.

Employees with fewer than 10 years of service within the railroad trade (or fewer than 5 years after 1995) don’t obtain retirement advantages by way of the RRB. As an alternative, their accounts are transferred into Social Safety they usually change into eligible for Social Safety advantages after assembly Social Safety profit necessities.


Probably the most that somebody reaching full retirement age in 2023 can get in Social Safety advantages per thirty days.

7. Self-Employed Tax Evaders

Self-employed employees pay self-employment tax to cowl each their very own and the employer’s portion of Social Safety contributions. The tax is calculated and paid annually when self-employed employees file their federal tax returns. Those that don’t file tax returns don’t pay Social Safety taxes, not like workers whose employers withhold and remit their Social Safety taxes from every paycheck.

In case you have no file of paying into the system, you’ll not obtain payouts. In case you have not reported earnings and evaded taxes for a lifetime, then you don’t have any proper to Social Safety advantages.

8. Sure Immigrants Over Age 65

Retired individuals who immigrate to america won’t have the 40 U.S. work credit that they should qualify for Social Safety advantages. One approach to rectify this drawback is to earn six work credit in america and obtain prorated U.S. advantages mixed with prorated advantages from their former nation beneath a totalization settlement. This answer is sensible for employees who additionally would not have sufficient advantages of their residence nation to qualify for that nation’s equal of Social Safety funds.

Older immigrants who don’t qualify for U.S. Social Safety and whose international locations’ legal guidelines enable them to obtain profit funds whereas residing overseas can declare their Social Safety or pensioner’s advantages whereas dwelling within the U.S.

The Backside Line

Virtually all retirees in america obtain Social Safety advantages once they cease working—assuming they’ve reached retirement age, in fact. Nevertheless, those that have spent little time within the U.S. workforce, whether or not as a result of full-time homemaking or working overseas, might not qualify beneath their very own names. (Some might qualify for spousal advantages if their partner qualifies for funds.) Some authorities employees are additionally not eligible. Happily, some individuals who don’t at present qualify can nonetheless discover a manner to take action.