Howell & Associates Advanced Planning - Green Bay, Wisconsin

how To Become Eligible

As you work and pay taxes, you earn Social Security “credits.” In 2015, you earn one credit for each $1,220 in earnings—up to a maximum of four credits a year. The amount of money needed to earn one credit usually goes
up every year.

Most people need 40 credits (10 years of work) to qualify for benefits. Younger people need fewer credits to be eligible for disability benefits or for their family members to be eligible for survivors benefits when the worker dies.

While You Are Working

Your link with Social Security is your Social Security number. You need it to get a job and pay taxes. We use your Social Security number to track your earnings while you’re working and to track your benefits after you’re getting Social Security.

Don’t carry your Social Security card. You should be careful about giving someone your Social Security number. Identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes today. Most of the time identity thieves use your Social Security number and your good credit to apply for more credit in your name. Then, they use the credit cards and don’t pay the bills.

Your Social Security number and our records are confidential. If someone else asks us for information we have about you, we won’t give any information without your written consent, unless the law requires or permits it.

Contact us if you need a Social Security number, if you lose your card and need another one, or if you need to change your name on your current card. We will ask you to complete a simple application and ask to see certain documents. We need to see originals or copies certified
by the issuing office. We can’t accept photocopies or notarized copies of documents.

To get a Social Security number or a replacement card, you must prove your U.S. citizenship or immigration status, age, and identity. We don’t need proof of your U.S. citizenship and age for a replacement card if they’re already in our records. We only accept certain documents as proof of U.S. citizenship. These include your U.S. birth certificate, U.S. passport, Certificate of Naturalization, or Certificate of Citizenship. If you aren’t a U.S. citizen,we must see your immigration document proving work authorization. If you don’t have work authorization, different rules apply. For proof of identity, we accept current documents showing your name, identifying information and preferably, a recent photograph, such as a driver’s license or other state-issued identification card, or a U.S. passport.

To apply for a change of name on your Social Security card, you must show a recently issued document that proves your name has been legally changed. Be sure to safeguard your Social Security card. We limit the number of replacement cards you can get to three in a year and 10 during your lifetime. Legal name changes and other exceptions don’t count toward these limits. For example, changes in noncitizen status that require card updates may not count toward these limits. These limits may not apply if you can prove you need the card to prevent a significant hardship.

For more information, read Your Social Security Number And Card (Publication No. 05-10002). If you aren’t a citizen, read Social Security Numbers For Noncitizens (Publication No. 05-10096).
All of our card services are free. Social Security never charges for the card services we provide.