Q. How much do I have to earn to get work credits on my Social Security record in 2002?
A. In 2002, you get one credit for every $870 you earn. You can earn a maximum of four credits a year. Generally, you need at least 40 credits (10 years of work) to qualify for retirement benefits, but for disability and survivors benefits, you may need as few as six credits (1 1/2 years) depending on your age.
Q. After I sign up for direct deposit, do I have to stay with the same bank?
A. No, you can use direct deposit at any federally insured bank, savings and loan or credit union. When you open the new account, make sure your deposits are going to the new account before you close the old one.
XThis column was prepared by the Social Security Administration. For answers to specific Social Security questions, contact Social Security toll-free at (800) 772-1213.
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