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Insured Status Requirements

Excerpted from "Social Security Handbook". See the up-to-date, official Social Security Handbook at


200. Insured Status Requirements

200.1 Why is insured status important?

You must be insured under the Social Security program before retirement, survivors, or disability insurance benefits can be paid to you or your family.

200.2 Are Social Security credits used to determine insured status?

We consider the number of Social Security credits you earned to determine if you have:

  1. Fully insured status;

  2. Currently insured status; or

  3. Insured status for establishing a period of disability.

You earn Social Security credits (previously called quarters of coverage) for a certain amount of work covered under Social Security. (See §§211-215.)

Note: Under Section 211 of the Social Security Protection Act of 2004 ("SSPA," or Public Law 108-203), certain alien workers must meet additional requirements to be fully or currently insured and to establish entitlement to benefits based on the alien's earnings. (See §201.)

Last Revised: Aug. 1, 2006


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