Resident Scholar, American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
To qualify for Social Security retired-worker benefits, individuals must have worked at least 40 calendar quarters (ten years) in jobs covered by Social Security. The Effects of Reducing Eligibility Requirements for Social Security Retirement Benefits examines the impact of eliminating the 40-quarters eligibility requirement. A small group of individuals (about 6 percent of those born in 1950) would gain eligibility for Social Security retired-worker benefits. The increases in benefits would often substitute for means-tested SSI benefits. Much of the new benefits would flow to immigrants who are not otherwise eligible for Social Security.