Insured Status (I/S)

In Social Security parlance, an individual’s Insured Status, or I/S, refers to their eligibility for certain Social Security benefits. Prior to receiving Social Security payments, an individual must be insured under the Social Security program.

The Social Security Administration determines an individual’s Insured Status based on the number of quarters of coverage earned over his or her employment history. A worker may accumulate up to four quarters or four work credits of coverage per year, and you must accumulate a set amount of these credits before your Covered Status changes to fully insured and then you become eligible for benefits. To qualify for Social Security Disability benefits, you must first meet the disability insurance standards.

The amount of work credits required to be fully insured or disabled insured varies by age. Six work credits are required as a minimum, while forty are required as a maximum. To achieve fully insured status, you must have at least one employment credit per calendar year after reaching the age of 21.

If you have been classified as eligible for Social Security Disability benefits, your Insured Status may meet the disability covered criteria if you have earned at least 20 work credits in the last decade and are fully insured. If you’re below the age of 31, you may require fewer work credits to qualify for disability insurance. Provided you do not fulfill the disability insured criteria for your Insured Status, you will be ineligible for SSDI benefits. However, you may still be eligible for SSI benefits if your household income and assets are within the Social Security Administration’s established limits.