Fully Insured Status
(a) General. We describe how we determine the number of quarters of coverage (QCs) you need to be fully insured in paragraphs (b), (c), and (d) of this section. The table in § 404.115 may be used to determine the number of QCs you need to be fully insured under paragraph (b) of this section. We consider certain World War II veterans to have died fully insured (see § 404.111). We also consider certain employees of private nonprofit organizations to be fully insured if they meet special requirements (see § 404.112).
(2) You are fully insured for old-age insurance benefits if you have one QC (whenever acquired) for each calendar year elapsing after 1950 or, if later, after the year in which you became age 21, and before the year you reach retirement age, that is, before—
(i) The year you become age 62, if you are a woman;
(ii) The year you become age 62, if you are a man who becomes age 62 after 1974;
(iii) The year 1975, if you are a man who became age 62 in 1973 or 1974; or
(iv) The year you became age 65, if you are a man who became age 62 before 1973.
(3) A person who is otherwise eligible for survivor's benefits and who files an application will be entitled to benefits based on your earnings if you die fully insured. You will be fully insured if you had one QC (whenever acquired) for each calendar year elapsing after 1950 or, if later, after the year you became age 21, and before the earlier of the following years:
(i) The year you die; or
(ii) The year you reach retirement age as shown in paragraph (b)(2) of this section.
(c) How a period of disability affects the number of QCs you need. In determining the number of elapsed years under paragraph (b) of this section, we do not count as an elapsed year any year which is wholly or partly in a period of disability we established for you. For example, if we established a period of disability for you from December 5, 1975 through January 31, 1977, the three years, 1975, 1976 and 1977, would not be counted as elapsed years.
(d) How we credit QCs for fully insured status based on your total wages before 1951—(1) General. For purposes of paragraph (b) of this section, we may use the following rules in crediting QCs based on your wages before 1951 instead of the rule in § 404.141(b)(1).
(i) We may consider you to have one QC for each $400 of your total wages before 1951, as defined in paragraph (d)(2) of this section, if you have at least 7 elapsed years as determined under paragraph (b)(2) or (b)(3) of this section; and the number of QCs determined under this paragraph plus the number of QCs credited to you for periods after 1950 make you fully insured.
(ii) If you file an application in June 1992 or later and you are not entitled to a benefit under section 227 of the Act in the month the application is made, we may consider you to have at least one QC before 1951 if you have $400 or more total wages before 1951, as defined in paragraph (d)(2) of this section, provided that the number of QCs credited to you under this paragraph plus the number of QCs credited to you for periods after 1950 make you fully insured.
(i) Remuneration credited to you before 1951 on the records of the Secretary;
(ii) Wages considered paid to you before 1951 under section 217 of the Act (relating to benefits in case of veterans);
(iii) Compensation under the Railroad Retirement Act of 1937 before 1951 that can be credited to you under title II of the Social Security Act; and
(iv) Wages considered paid to you before 1951 under section 231 of the Act (relating to benefits in case of certain persons interned in the United States during World War II).
(e) When your fully insured status begins. You are fully insured as of the first day of the calendar quarter in which you acquire the last needed QC (see § 404.145).
[45 FR 25384, Apr. 15, 1980, as amended at 50 FR 36573, Sept. 9, 1985; 57 FR 23156, June 2, 1992; 83 FR 21708, May 10, 2018]