A: If you know your Social Security number, you may not need a replacement card. You can replace your Social Security card for free if it is lost or stolen, but you are limited to three replacement cards in a year and 10 during your lifetime. Learn more at www.socialsecurity.gov/ssnumber.
Q: I worked for the last 10 years and I now have my 40 credits. Does this mean that I can stop working and get the maximum Social Security retirement benefit when it’s time to retire?
A: The 40 credits are the minimum number you need to qualify for retirement benefits. However, we do not base the amount of the benefit on those credits; we base it on your earnings over your working lifetime. To learn more about Social Security retirement benefits and how your benefit amount is figured, read our online publication, Retirement Benefits, at www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs/10035.html.
This column was prepared by the Social Security Administration. For fast answers to specific Social Security questions, contact Social Security at (800) 772-1213.