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I’m 70 now and have 35 credits.

My son is going to pay me $5500 from his business this month which I will pay into social security and receive 4 credits for 2019, giving me 39.

In January of 2020 he will pay me another $1500 which will get me that 40th credit.

Do I need to wait all of 2020 till I do my taxes to get the 40th credit? Or can I start collecting immediately?

  • 1
    Are you saying that you are age 70 at this time? – RonJohn Nov 25 '19 at 1:24
  • You can receive traditional SS as soon as your 62 and you have 40 credits (not SSI disability) – Bob Baerker Nov 25 '19 at 1:36
  • @BobBaerker that looks like an answer... :) – RonJohn Nov 25 '19 at 2:01
  • Yes. I’m 70 now and have 35 credits. My son is going to pay me $5500 from his business this month which I will pay into social security and receive 4 credits for 2019. In January of 2020 he will pay me another $1500 which will get me that 40th credit. But do I need to wait all of 2020 till I do my taxes to get the 40th credit? Or can I start collecting immediately. – RichM Nov 25 '19 at 7:53
  • You (and your son) are apparently treating this as 'non-employee compensation' (1099-MISC box 7). You don't pay the income to SSA; you pay the self-employment tax on it (15.3%) to IRS/Treasury, as well as income tax if applicable (if this is your only taxable income it's within the standard deduction and you won't owe income tax). Normally IRS informs SSA to update their systems about a year later, but as described you can speed that up by showing SSA your tax return. – dave_thompson_085 Nov 27 '19 at 16:33
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I could not find an one location that would answer this question, but I did find some info spread around several locations.

On the SSA benefits planner site:

When you apply for benefits, we'll need the following:

  • Your Social Security number;
  • Your birth certificate (If you don't have a birth certificate, you can get one from the state where you were born. Go to What Documents Will You Need When You Apply? for more information.);
  • Your W-2 forms or self-employment tax return for last year;
    If our records show that documents proving age or citizenship/lawful alien status have already been submitted for an earlier Medicare or Social Security claim (such as Disability, Supplemental Security Income, etc.), you do not need to submit the documents again.

...

If you are applying in early 2020 then they need to know about your 2019 earnings, that is why you bring the W-2.

Your employer submits to the SSA your actual values by the last day of January they using form W-3. The same page says that the employer can give the employee the W-2 earlier if they are done working for the year, it doesn't mention sending in the W-3 early.

That would mean the the Social Security Administration will not know about your 2020 income until after January 2021. There might be a delay between your employer submitting the forms and it appearing in your account history.

I imagine that your situation is rare because most people hit 40 credits in their 20's or 30's. You may be able to find assistance with a service that handles elder care issues, they may understand how to handle situations like yours.

  • Nit: employer reports individual wages & tax on W-2 both to you ('copy C for employee's records') and SSA/IRS ('copy A to SSA', 'copy B for federal tax return', more for state/local) -- note the words under W-2 "... must file ... with (SSA) and furnish to their employees". W-3 is a transmittal document containing business-wide totals, filed in addition to the W-2's. – dave_thompson_085 Nov 27 '19 at 16:26
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The short answer is that you cannot get benefits without forty credits on your own account. But it’s a rather complicated system, and may be affected by a spouse or ex-spouse or maybe other things. If you can visit a Social Security office or call the national toll-free number* you can get the full story. You could also maybe figure it out if you spend an hour reading FAQs at http://SSA.gov

*expect to be on hold for an hour!

  • Mhroan.and everyone thanks for your replies. I called social security and the woman said if I bring a check from January 2020 to the office showing I’ve made enough for the 40th credit they can use that to begin the process. I’m not sure if it’s true since she didn’t sound to confident but it did make sense. I was on hold 44mins btw – RichM Nov 25 '19 at 17:28

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