There is a special rule for those who do not meet the requirements for “Fully Insured Status” and it is called “Currently Insured Status”. It can be considered a backup that gives only partial protection for your family.
If you are “currently insured”, there are only two types of survivors that can be paid your qualifying benefits – your children, and your spouse who is caring for your children.
To qualify for this status, your spouse must be caregiver for a child under 16 years of age, and the recipient of Social Security payments. No payments are possible to your parents or your surviving spouse not caring for children. You are considered “currently insured” if when you die, you have accumulated 6 work credits in the previous 13 calendar quarters. This breaks down to working at least 1.5 years in your final three years of life. This rule only applies when surviving children are involved.
EXAMPLE: John dies at age 30 with only 8 work credits. He is not fully insured because he needed 10 work credits for fully insured status. However, 6 of his work credits were in his last 3 years; therefore, he is deemed currently insured status. His children will get Social Security benefits from his work record until they meet the deadline for benefits (based on age or school graduation) and his wife Susan will get Social Security while she is caring for the children, until the youngest turns age 16.
When Susan reaches retirement age, she will not be eligible for widow benefits on John’s record because his “currently insured status” does not provide for that type of benefit. The payments to his family will also be low because of his limited work history.
“Fully Insured Status” is by far the most comprehensive coverage for your family. This means you have earned enough work credits to provide Social Security payments to your survivors in all categories – spouses over 60, younger spouses caring for your children, your children and your dependent parents. Once you earn 40 credits, you are permanently insured for all your family members. There is a sliding scale with the requirements to become “fully insured” based on your age of death.
EXAMPLE: Greg was 28 when he died so he only needed 6 credits for fully insured status for survivor benefits, not the full 40 credits required for retirees. Greg had accumulated a total of 30 works credits, so his wife and children will be eligible for Social Security benefits.
Rules, rules and more rules. Education and knowledge are necessary to make a desirable Social Security filing.
Pillars LLC is in the Corinth, MS area but service all 50 states. Roy and Diane are both National Social Security Advisors and Roy is a former CPA of over 40 years. You may contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org, on their website at www.pillarsllc.com or call at 601-954-0699.