En español | Social Security is an earned benefit. In order to collect a retirement or disability benefit, a worker must pay into the system for at least 10 years. In some cases, nonworking family members, such as a spouse, may be eligible for benefits based on the worker’s record. Tough rules in place assure that only legal residents and citizens who have met the 10-year qualification can collect retirement benefits.
Join or Renew With AARP for Just $16 a Year
- Discounts on travel and everyday savings
- Subscription to AARP The Magazine
- An ally on issues that matter most to you
- Free membership for your spouse or partner