TN 48 (10-23)

RS 00301.105 Fully Insured Status


42 USC 414(a), Social Security Act Sec. 214(a), 220,
20 CFR Sections 404.110, 404.115, 404.132, Section 211 of P.L. 108-203

A. Introduction

1. General

The fully insured status test is a “duration-of-work” test. This means that the number holder (NH) must have worked for a certain length of time in order to meet insured status. Fully insured status can also be thought of as a measure of the NH’s working life. The fully insured status test is also called the “1-for-4” rule.

2. Two parts to fully insured status test

In general, there are two parts to the fully insured status determination:

  1. a. 

    Determining the number of QCs needed (see RS 00301.105B of this section); and

  2. b. 

    Counting the QCs on the NH’s earnings record to see if they have enough to meet the fully insured status requirement.

IMPORTANT: If the worker is an alien whose SSN was first assigned on or after January 1, 2004, then they must meet additional requirements under Section 211 of the Social Security Protection Act of 2004 (Public Law 108-203), to be fully insured and to establish entitlement based on their earnings. See RS 00301.102 for a full discussion of these requirements.

3. Applicability of fully insured status test

Fully insured status applies to:

  • Monthly benefits payable 8/61 or later based on an application filed in or after 3/61; or

  • Lump-sum death payments if the NH died on or after 8/1/61.

B. Policy—number of QCS needed for fully insured status

1. Number of QCs under the 1-for-4 rule

A fully insured NH has at least one QC (whenever acquired) for each calendar year after 1950 or after the year in which the person attained age 21, if later, up to the year in which the NH attains age 62, or assumed age 62, or dies, whichever occurs earlier. In determining the number of years, do not count any year if part or all of that year is included in a period of disability if entitlement or a higher benefit would result.

2. Additional considerations

  1. a. 

    The QCs for fully insured status can be anywhere on the NH’s earnings record. The NH meets fully insured status beginning with the first day of the most recent quarter of coverage that is needed for fully insured status.

  2. b. 

    A NH needs at least 6 QCs and no more than 40 QCs to meet fully insured status.

  3. c. 

    A male NH born before 1/2/1911 is fully insured if he has one QC for each year after 1950 up to the year he attains age 65 or dies, whichever is earlier. Men born from 1/2/1911 through 1/1/1913 are fully insured if they have one QC for each year after 1950 up to 1975, or the year of death, if earlier.

C. References

Topic Reference

Special Requirements for Alien Workers Under the Social Security Protection Act of 2004

RS 00301.102

Fully Insured status for DIB

RS 00301.120B.2

Fully Insured status for a Freeze

RS 00301.130A.2

Fully insured status requirement for special insured status –NH under Age 31

RS 00301.140B.1.b

Fully insured status requirement for special insured status for subsequent period of disability—NH Over Age 31

RS 00301.147B.2.a

Date Last Insured –fully insured status

RS 00301.148B.2.d

Fully insured status for Statutory Blind NH

RS 00301.150


To Link to this section - Use this URL:
RS 00301.105 - Fully Insured Status - 10/10/2023
Batch run: 10/10/2023