20 CFR 404.103(d)(1)(i); 404.103(f); and 404.108(b)

SSR 65-44

A worker with 7 quarters of coverage as of December 31, 1963, needed 10 quarters of coverage to be fully insured and entitled to old-age insurance benefits (she had met the other benefit entitlement requirements). Her total wages for 1964 were in excess of $4,800 for nonagricultural labor. Held, the worker acquired her 10th and qualifying quarter of coverage in the third quarter of 1064 and her entitlement to old-age insurance benefits begins July 1, 1964, the first day of her qualifying quarter.

The claimant, R, a woman worker born August 25, 1899, filed an application for old-age insurance benefits in May 1965. As of December 31, 1963, she had 7 quarters of coverage. During the first 2 quarters of 1964 (January through June), she had worked steadily and had been paid remuneration totalling $4,470, more than $50 having been paid her in each quarter. In July and August 1964 she did not work and received no pay; but in September she worked and was paid $450. None of the $4,920 remuneration received by R in 1964 was for agricultural labor. Thus, for 1964, she is credited with wages of $4,800 (the maximum amount creditable as wages to a worker for a calendar year after 1958, under section 209(a) of the Act).

The issues to be resolved are whether R is entitled to old-age insurance benefits and, if so, the month in which her entitlement begins.

To be entitled to old-age insurance benefits, under section 202(a) of the Act, a worker must be fully insured, have attained age 62, and (subject to an exception not applicable in the present case) file application for such benefits. Under section 202(j)(1), the entitlement of a worker who meets these requirements begins with the first of the 12 months before the month of filing in which he was fully insured and at least 62 years old (subject to an exception, not applicable in this case, where the worker has requested that his benefits begin with some later month).

Under section 214(a) of the Social Security Act, R needs 10 quarters of coverage to be fully insured, i.e., one quarter of coverage, whenever acquired, for each of the 10 years elapsing after 1950 and before 1961, the year in which she attained age 62.

Section 213(a)(2) of the Act provides, in pertinent part, that a quarter of coverage is a calendar quarter (defined as a period of 3 calendar months ending on March 31, June 30, September 30, or December 31) in which the individual has been paid $50 or more in wages (except wages for agricultural labor paid after 1954)[1] or for which he has been credited with $100 or more of self-employment income, except that if the wages paid to any individual in any calendar year after 1958 equal $4,800, each quarter of such year is a quarter of coverage.

Since R was paid wages of $4,800 in 1964, under section 213(a)(2)(ii), she must be credited with 4 quarters of coverage for the 4 quarters of 1964. These 4 quarters of coverage, added to the 7 she had as of December 31, 1963, make a total of 11 quarters of coverage. However, even if R had not been paid as much as $4,800 during the calendar year 1964, since the first 2 quarters of 1964 were quarters of coverage and since she earned at least $50 in wages in the third quarter of 1064, she would, under section 213(a)(2) quoted above, still have 10 quarters of coverage. Since she needs 10 quarters of coverage to be fully insured, it is held that she is fully insured and, since she meets the other requirements for entitlement, she is entitled to old-age insurance benefits.

The first month for which R is entitled to benefits remains to be determined.

Under section 213(a)(2)(v), a quarter cannot be counted as a quarter of coverage prior to the beginning of that quarter. Thus, as of June 30, 1964, R had only 9 quarters of coverage (the 2 quarters of coverage for the first 2 quarters of 1064, plus the 7 quarters of coverage acquired before 1964). The third quarter of 1064 became a quarter of coverage in September 1964, when R was paid at least $50 in wages for nonagricultural labor. However, under sections 404.103(f) and 404.108(b) of the Social Security Regulations (20 CFR 404.103(f) and 404.108(b)), a worker is considered to have a fully insured status beginning with the first day of the calendar quarter in which she acquires the last required quarter of coverage (in this case, July 1, 1964), rather than in the month in which the qualifying amount of wages was actually paid (in this case, September 1964). This is true whatever the basis for the quarter of coverage, e.g., whether based on wages of $50 paid to the worker in that quarter or based on wages of $4,800 paid in the calendar year, etc. Hence, R acquired her fully insured status on July 1, 1964.

Since R became fully insured in July 1064 and all other requirements were met in that month, it is held that her entitlement to old-age insurance benefits begins with July 1964.

[1] See SSR 64-26, C.B. 1964, p. 29, concerning quarters of coverage based on wages for agricultural labor.

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