Social Security for Stay-at-Home Moms (and Dads): How to Qualify for Benefits

Just because you don't bring home a paycheck doesn't mean you're not working. A stay-at-home parent can get a Social Security check just like any other worker. Here's how.

A small child stands on top of the feet of her smiling mom and looks up at her in their living room.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

In order to qualify for a full Social Security benefit, you have to have worked 40 quarters, which equates to 10 years, earning a minimum of at least $1,640 per quarter. However, what if you elected to stay home, raise your kids and never worked for 40 quarters? Or even if you got your 40 quarters in, what if you didn’t earn enough income to get much of a benefit. Can you still receive Social Security as a stay-at-home mom or dad? The good news is you can.

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Mike Piershale, ChFC
President, Piershale Financial Group
Mike Piershale, ChFC, is president of Piershale Financial Group in Barrington, Illinois. He works directly with clients on retirement and estate planning, portfolio management and insurance needs.