§ 161. Old-Age Benefits - Entitlement

To receive monthly old-age insurance (retirement) benefits a person must have sufficient past work covered by Social Security to have the necessary "fully insured" status. The person must be 62 or older and, prior to the Social Security Act's "full retirement age" (which is between 65 and 67 depending on year of birth), must not have a high level of continuing earnings. Unless the person is already receiving Social Security benefits of some other kind old-age benefits await the worker's decision to file an application. However, if the person has waited until after his or her "full retirement age" to file an application, benefits can be recovered for up to 6 months prior to the application, although not for months prior to that benchmark age.

See generally SSA, How You Earn Credit.

Rev. 5/10

  • Related Sections:
    • Part 1
      § 160. Old-Age Benefits - In General
      § 162. Old-Age Benefits - Amount
      § 163. Old-Age Benefits - Relationship to Prior or Subsequent Benefits Received by Worker
      § 164. Old-Age Benefits - Benefits for Others That Are Linked To
    • Part 2
      § A 100. The Need to File an Application -- Social Security
      § A 210. Insured Status - Fully Insured
      § A 600. Proof of Age
      § B 150. Full Retirement Age