Requirements for Social Security Benefits for an Elderly Care Provider

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Several million people in the U.S. provide care for elderly people still living in their homes. Many caregivers give up their outside work or reduce their hours in order to provide care. The financial implications of giving up paid work can add significantly to the burden of a caregiver. She may be entitled to Social Security benefits, depending on her and her spouse's employment and tax history, but there is no Social Security credit for unpaid work.

Caregivers' Benefits

Caregivers often enable people to stay in their own homes.
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If an elderly caregiver has been in paid employment for at least 10 years, or has been self-employed and paid taxes for this period, she will be eligible for retirement benefits at the age of 62. This is the case even if she has worked part-time for low wages. If a caregiver's spouse has been employed for at least 10 years, she will be eligible for dependent's benefit.

Other Benefits

The elderly caregiver, if he had to retire from paid employment before retirement age because of disability, will be entitled to disability benefits. If the caregiver is the spouse of a person who is in receipt of disability benefit, he will be entitled to dependent's benefits at the age of 62.

Survivor's Benefits

If the caregiver had a spouse, now deceased, who was in paid employment for 10 years, or was self-employed and paid taxes, she will be entitled to survivor's benefits at the age of 60. A caregiver who is entitled to two pensions can only collect the higher of them.


About the Author

Noreen Wainwright has been writing since 1997. Her work has appeared in "The Daily Telegraph," "The Guardian," "The Countryman" and "The Lady." She has a Bachelor of Arts in social sciences from Liverpool Polytechnic and a postgraduate law degree from Staffordshire University.

Photo Credits

  • elderly woman image by Anna Chelnokova from