If you fall under one of these categories, don’t expect to receive assistance.
Social Security is not available to everyone.
People who did not pay into the Social Security system, or who did not pay enough, as well as those in certain other conditions, may be ineligible for retirement payments.
There are various groups of people who should not expect to receive benefits.
1. sporadic laborers
According to the United States Social Security Administration, most people must accrue at least 40 “credits” during their working lives in order to receive Social Security retirement benefits (SSA).
If you work and pay Social Security taxes, you can currently earn up to four credits per year.
As a result, it’s not unsurprising that people who didn’t work long enough to qualify for benefits — such as immigrants who arrived in the United States late in life — account for more than 80% of those who have never received benefits, according to SSA data.
2. Uninsured employees
Not every employee is required to contribute to the Social Security system. Because they get a pension, public employees in several states are not covered by Social Security.
Employees of state and municipal government entities, including school districts, colleges, and universities, are examples of such personnel. They may also include police officers and firefighters in some states.
3. A few debtors
Do you owe money to the government? If this is the case, a portion of your Social Security benefits may be withheld to assist pay off the debt.
The government might seize your benefits if you owe late federal tax debts or federal student loans, as we explain in “10 Things That Can Ding Your Social Security Payments.”
Furthermore, if you owe child support or alimony, your benefits may be reduced to satisfy those responsibilities.
4. Some expatriates
In most situations, you can get your Social Security benefits if you retire in a foreign nation.
There are, however, some nations to which the SSA is unable to provide funds. For a list of countries that fall under this category, go to the SSA website.
The SSA makes exceptions in rare circumstances, but not for residents of two nations.
“Payments to anyone residing in Cuba or North Korea are prohibited by the United States Department of Treasury,” the SSA states.
If you are a U.S. citizen living in one of those countries, your Social Security benefits will be stored for you and paid out when you move to a country where the Social Security Administration can transfer payments.
To discover if you qualify for benefits as an expatriate, use the SSA’s Payments Abroad Screening Tool.
5. A large number of detainees
While people who have been incarcerated may be eligible for Social Security benefits if they have paid into the system over time, most convicts are not eligible for payments while they are in jail or prison, according to the SSA.
Benefits are suspended for those who have been detained for more than 30 days as a result of a criminal conviction.
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6. Non-reporting self-employed individuals
Employed individuals receive assistance in reporting their wages to the Social Security Administration and in paying their Social Security taxes.
Employers, in particular, perform the following tasks on behalf of employees:
Workers’ wages must be reported to the Social Security Administration (SSA) in order for them to obtain the Social Security credits they have earned.
Deduct half of employees’ Social Security taxes — 6.2 percent — from their paychecks and submit the money to the Internal Revenue Service.
Match half of the workers’ Social Security taxes — another 6.2 percent — and send the money to the Internal Revenue Service.
Self-employed workers, on the other hand, must declare their own earnings and pay the full 12.4% in Social Security taxes to the IRS.
This includes completing and submitting an IRS Schedule SE form.
If you’re self-employed but don’t record all of your earnings or don’t pay Social Security taxes, you’re probably not accruing Social Security credits — or at least not as many as you should be.
Depending on the severity of your circumstances, you may be denied retirement benefits in the future.
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