.01 Accumulating 40 Quarters
 
(07/01/09 – 09/30/09)
Noncitizens may meet the 40 Quarter criteria using any of the following quarters of earnings:
 
Their own earnings.
Their spouse's earnings.
Their parent's earnings through the month the noncitizen turns age 18.
 
Noncitizens may accumulate their own quarters of earnings beginning when they are legally authorized to work in the U.S.
 
NA EXCEPTION
Noncitizens may begin accumulating their own quarters regardless of their noncitizen status at the time the work is performed.
 
A quarter may be used to qualify more than one noncitizen.
 
Noncitizens may use the following spouse's quarters of earnings beginning with the quarter the marriage occurred:
 
A current spouse(g).
One or more deceased spouses.
 
This includes common law marriages and couples who live together and present themselves as husband and wife to the community.
 
When counting 40 quarters, include the quarters of earnings received during periods of voluntary or involuntary separation from the current legal spouse.
 
Verification must be provided for the following:
 
Legal marriage
Common law marriages
Couples who live together and present themselves as husband and wife to the community.
 
NOTE Verify the date the couple began to present themselves as husband and wife.
 
WARNING
When a noncitizen's marriage ends in divorce, do not count the ex-spouse's quarters of earnings.
The eligible noncitizen who divorces during their approval period may become ineligible at renewal, when reapplying after a break in benefits, or when a change is reported.
 
Noncitizens may use the quarters of their parent (natural, adoptive, or stepparent) through the month the noncitizen turns age 18.
 
NOTE The relationship of the parent to the child must be verified.
 
The following quarters of earnings may be used:
 
Quarters earned by a parent (natural or adoptive) before the child was born.
Quarters earned by a parent (natural, adoptive, or stepparent) before the child entered the U.S.
Quarters earned by a stepparent while the child lived with the stepparent.
 
NOTE This includes common law marriages and couples who live together and present themselves as husband and wife to the community.
 
Quarters earned prior to the noncitizen turning 18. The quarters may be used after the noncitizen's 18th birthday, even when the noncitizen no longer resides with the natural or adoptive parent.
 
Quarters of earnings on or after January 1, 1997 are not qualifying quarters of earnings when any of the following apply:
 
The noncitizen received the Federal Means Tested Public Benefit(g) from any state in that quarter.
The spouse or parent providing the quarter received Federal Means Tested Public Benefits from any state in that quarter.
 
NOTE When the noncitizen earns the 40th quarter of coverage prior to applying for food stamps or any other federal means-tested public benefit in that same quarter, the State agency must allow that quarter toward the 40 qualifying quarters total. The noncitizen cannot make a quarter countable by repaying benefits they were eligible to receive.
 
EXCEPTION
Count the quarter of earnings toward the 40 quarters of earnings requirement for the noncitizen when ALL of the following apply:
Was ineligible to receive a Federal Means Tested Public benefit
Received a Federal Means Tested Public benefit in error
Repaid the Federal Means Tested Public benefit