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Having helped disabled workers who have also given birth to and raised their children, Herndon, Reston and Leesburg Social Security lawyer Doug Landau has seen how having a family can penalize women when it comes to their Federal Disability benefits. In fact, what mothers don’t know about Social Security can hurt them. Business Week reported how women earn less and working mother earn less still.

However, when women leave the workforce to have and raise children, the ability to receive Social Security disability benefits often suffer. This is so even though child rearing is extremely important and society should reward those who work hard at raising a family. Few mothers take the time to look at how their caregiving responsibilities impact their Social Security eligibility and benefits.

When you work and are paid, you generally earn Social Security “credits” for each quarter of a year that you work. If you earn enough of quarters of credits, you will be eligible for various parts of the program including retirement and disability income benefits. Once you are eligible for retirement benefits, the amounts are then calculated using earnings over your lifetime. If you do not have the required number of credits or earn less than your spouse, you can also choose to take half of your spouse’s benefit at retirement. For more on this, go to the Mothers Movement site.

At ABRAMS LANDAU, we encourage every client to get a copy of their Social Security printout so that they can see how many quarters of credits they have, what their benefit amounts will be at retirement and if the become disabled. Anyone of working age generally needs 40 credits to be eligible for retirement benefits based on their own earnings rather than her spouse’s. That usually means working full-time for 10 years. Check your Social Security statement. You should receive an annual statement around your birthday or you can request one at or by calling 1-800-772-1213. Do you have the 40 credits you need for retirement benefits on your own work record ? Do you have enough credits in the system to be eligible for disability income ? If you or your family or friends have questions about Social Security Disability please e-mail or call us at ABRAMS LANDAU, Ltd. (703-796-9555).

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