How Much Social Security Will I Get If I Only Worked 10 Years?

You will get a minimum social security benefit if you have earned 40 social security credits in 10 years. However, it’s hard to tell an exact number as social security benefits are calculated based on your highest 35 years of income. 

Social security benefits are a great inflation-adjusted social insurance system for retirees. However, it is a complex system and it can be pretty confusing for retirees. One such confusion is, how much social security will I get if I only worked 10 years? 

In this post I am going to provide an estimation of how much will you get if you only worked 10 years. Moreover, I will also talk about the minimum requirements of Social Security Benefits and many more related queries. So, stick with me. 

Before finding out how much social security benefit you will get you need to find out whether you are eligible for it or not.  

How Do I Know If I Have 40 Credits For Social Security?

You have to check your social security statement to find out if you have earned 40 credits or not. 

The first requirement for social security benefit eligibility is to earn at least 40 social security credits. There are also other eligibility requirements for social security. However, earning 40 credits is a must. But how do you find out whether you earned it or not? 

You can simply check your Social Security statement. It is available both offline and online.  For online access, 

  • Create a My Social Security account. 
  • Go to the dashboard and find out how much credit you have earned. 

For offline access, 

  • Ask your local Social Security Administration or go to their website and request a statement by mail. 
  • The statement will show the total number of credits you have earned and the years in which you earned them.

Now you know if you are eligible for it or not. So, let’s find out how much will you get. 

How Much Social Security Will I Get If I Only Worked 10 Years?

It’s hard to estimate an exact amount. However, you can find your approximate social security retirement benefits on your social security statement.  

Calculating social security retirement benefits is quite a complex process. Because it depends on so many factors. Moreover, when calculating your retirement benefits social security administration also takes inflation into account. As a result, it becomes more difficult. 

However, if you have fully worked for 10 years and gained 40 credits then you will get minimum social security retirement benefits. The amount will depend on several factors like

  • Your Highest monthly income for 35 years 
  • Inflation rate
  • Retirement Age

Firstly, the SSA authority calculates an amount based on your highest 35 years of earnings. Then they adjust it with inflation. Lastly, if you start taking social security benefits after 70 years then you will get the highest amount. 

For example, you have worked at an $8-$10 hourly wage. After adjusting for inflation you will get an estimated $1100-$1200 monthly. 

But if you work for only 10 years then they will put zero in the remaining 25 years. As a result, your social security payments will be lesser than people who worked for 35 straight years.  Here is how to calculate social security retirement benefits

Calculating your estimated benefits can be a hectic experience. So, I would suggest you check My Social Security to find out your estimated social security retirement benefits. 

What Is The Minimum Social Security Benefit With 40 Credits?

For someone retiring at the full retirement age and having a low-wage job, the minimum benefit amount would be $1,170 per month in 2022.

As I have mentioned before, the Social Security benefit amount is determined by 35 years of income, the age at which a person starts receiving benefits, and inflation. But this amount is subject to change. 

However, there special minimum benefit for low-wage earners. The special benefit can also change based on inflation. 

Moreover, you will get a minimum Social Security benefit at 62 which is 30% less than if you wait till 70. So, if you decide to wait then you will get 8% more for each year you have waited.  

What Is The Minimum Social Security Benefit If You Never Worked?

You won’t get any social security benefits if you never worked. However, if you are a single widow or widower and had a working spouse then you will get Social Security Benefits.  

For getting social security benefits you must have 40 social security credits and pay social security taxes. One person can earn a maximum of 4 credits per year. So, you need to work for at least 10 years to be eligible for social security benefits. 

To earn 1 credit you must earn $1,510. In 2022, $6,040 in earnings can get you 4 credits a year. However, it can increase depending on the average wage increase and inflation. 

So, without working or gaining credits or paying social security taxes you can’t get social security benefits. But if you are a single widow or widower and had a spouse who earned 40 social security credits then you will get spousal social security benefits

On the other hand, if you have a disability then you will be eligible for Supplemental Security Income. So, what is the social security 5-year rule? 

Social Security 5 Year Rule

The social security 5-year rule is, 

“You must have worked and paid social security taxes for at least 5 of the past 10 years.” 

This means that to get social security benefits you have to work for at least 5 years in the 10-year time frame before retirement.  Moreover, within these 5 years, you have to pay social security taxes.

If you have worked in a company that did not cut social security taxes from you then you would fall under the Windfall Elimination Provision

How much Social Security will I get if I only worked 20 years?

SSA calculates your average earnings based on a specific formula that takes into account your highest 35 years of earnings. If you only worked 20 years, the formula would include zeros for the remaining 15 years.

The amount of Social Security you receive is based on your average earnings over your working life, not the number of years you worked. However, you need to earn the minimum social security credits.

If you have paid social security taxes during your 20 years of work life then you will get social security benefits. As the benefits are different for each individual so you can use the Social Security Administration’s online calculator or look at your social security statement to find out an estimated amount.

In Summary

The easiest way to find out how much social security will you get if you only worked 10 years, is to look at your social security statement. You can get it by mail or see it online. 

Lastly, if you are confused about anything related to social security benefits don’t hesitate to mail the SSA or go to your local SSA office. 

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