I am 62 years old and have worked all my life. In 2007 I started teaching high school to give back to my community. Now I discover that since I have worked for a school district and made no Social Security payments for 10 years, I can NEVER receive ANY of the money I have paid in.

I can amend my taxes for 2015, and 2016 and make Social Security payments out of my pocket. Since this would reset the 10 year clock, would this reinstate my benefits?

  • 5
    What's the source of your info? None of the 10-year rules I'm familiar with have anything to do with losing benefits.
    – Hart CO
    Jan 11, 2019 at 20:05
  • 1
    Are you asking about disability benefits, or retirement benefits? Your title mentions "disability" but the body of your question doesn't refer to disability specifically... Jan 11, 2019 at 20:56
  • No one ever receives any of the money they put into social security. There's no fund that invests your contributions in order to provide you benefits later. The government spent all your contributions long ago. At best you're hoping to be paid out of what younger people are paying in today. Somehow, a Ponzi scheme is legal if it is run by the government.
    – Ben Voigt
    Jan 13, 2019 at 3:46

1 Answer 1


I'm not entirely sure that information is accurate. Social Security is based off your highest 35 years of earnings (which are SSA-eligible) and you must earn 40 "credits" at 4 credits per year (so, 10 years working) to be eligible for any benefits at all.

About 35 states have a different retirement system for teachers, avoiding social security entirely for them.

However, there are provisions for people who have worked both as a teacher and in other jobs. In this case, your Social Security benefits will be reduced by the amount based on the retirement benefits you receive as a teacher.

I am unable to locate any information that states you must have paid into SSA for the last 10 years, and I believe this may be erroneous. It appears you may be confusing this with Social Security Disability benefits, which are not the same as ordinary Social Security (retirement) benefits.

I recommend you look for a second opinion. You are very likely not at all out of luck.

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