Why Isn't Caregiving Credited Toward Qualifying For Social Security?

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Jul 15 2017 - 9:53am

I am lacking 4 quarters or around 5400 dollars in earned income benefits to receive my social security.I have been raising my autistic grandchild for last almost 22 years..why isn't this counted toward my being qualified for my own social security?Yes,I am not over 65 and receiving SSI..but.I would rather have social security.
Thank you

Hi,

The simple answer is that it's the way Congress wrote the Social Security law. I can't analyze their thinking on the subject, but they settled on requiring 40 quarters of coverage, or the equivalent of 10 years of Social Security covered work, in order for a person to be fully insured for retirement benefits. Social Security benefits are funded by the Social Security taxes paid on people's earnings, so it likely wouldn't be financially sustainable to credit someone with quarters of coverage for periods in which they didn't contribute to the Social Security trust fund by paying Social Security taxes.

Best, Jerry