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Insured Status (I/S)

In terms of Social Security, an individual’s Insured Status, or an individual’s I/S, is their status of eligibility for certain Social Security benefits. Before an individual can receive benefits from the Social Security Administration, that individual must be insured under the Social Security program.

When determining an individual’s Insured Status, the Social Security Administration looks at the number of quarters of coverage that an individual has earned during his or her work history. A worker can earn up to four quarters or four work credits of coverage per year and you will need a certain number of these credits before your Insured Status changes to fully insured and you become eligible for benefits. Before you can receive Social Security Disability benefits, you must meet the requirements for being disability insured.

The number of work credits that you will need in order to be fully insured or disability insured will vary depending on your age. The minimum number of work credits needed is 6 and the maximum number needed is 40. For your Insured Status to reach fully insured, you must have at least once work credit for each calendar year after you reach 21 years of age.

If you need Social Security Disability benefits your Insured Status can meet the disability insured criteria if you have earned at least 20 work credits in the past 10 years and you are fully insured. If you are under 31 years of age, you may need fewer work credits to meet the disability insured criteria. If you do not meet the disability insured criteria for your Insured Status, you will not qualify for SSDI benefits but you may still qualify for SSI benefits if your household income and assets are within the limits that have been set forth by the Social Security Administration.