Q: What are "work credits" and how do I earn them?
A: Credits for work are based on the amount of your earnings. You can earn up to four credits each year when you work in a job or operate your own business as a self-employed person and pay Social Security taxes. Each year the amount of earnings needed for credits goes up as average earnings levels increase. In 2007, you earn one credit for each $1,000 of your earnings. So if you have earned at least $4,000 during the year, you get the maximum four credits. To learn more, visit our Web site at www.socialsecurity.gov or call us at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778).
Q: I turn 62 this year and plan to retire at the end of July. But the way my company pays me may pose a problem. Even though I'll stop working when I retire, I won't get paid until several months later. In other words, even though I am retired, I will get paychecks a few months after I'm retired. Will my company's payment policy affect my eligibility for Social Security?
A: No, it won't. We count earnings in the month they are earned, not the month they are paid. So even though you will get paid after you retire at the end of July, because you earned that money prior to August, you will be due your full Social Security retirement benefit for August and the rest of the year. To learn more about retirement, visit our Web site at www.socialsecurity.gov or call us at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778).