Am I eligible for Social Security if I only worked for 5 years?

Published: September 21, 2020

Full question: I’ve been a stay at home mom for most of my adult life. I worked for about 5 years. Am I eligible for Social Security?


To be eligible to collect your own retirement benefits, you must have worked and paid taxes into Social Security for 40 quarters, or 10 years. In your case, it does not seem you are eligible to collect your own benefits.

However, you may be eligible for Social Security spousal or survivor benefits if you are currently married, are widowed or were married for over 10 years and are now divorced.

Visit here to learn more about spousal, or ex-spousal benefits.

Visit here learn more about survivor benefits.

Registered Social Security Analysts understand the complex rules that apply to these benefits and are able to help you make the best claiming decision for your unique situation.


Do you have a question about Social Security? Ask Martha your own question here.

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