1105.098.00 Appendix B – Guide for 40 Quarter Immigrant Eligibility Determination

1105.098.20.10 Noncovered Employment

IM-118 August 2, 2000

When an applicant cannot meet the 40 qualifying quarters requirement using covered earnings or Medicare-only Federal, State, or local wages but alleges that he/she had additional work that is not documented by the IIVE query, follow the outline below to establish the existence of the earnings and convert them to qualifying quarters.

STEP 1: Review the IIVE response with the immigrant to determine whether qualifying quarters are missing from the record.

If QQs are not missing from the response, make the determination based on the information already obtained.

If QQs are missing from the response, obtain sufficient information from the individual to use the chart following this step to determine whether the alleged earnings are covered or noncovered.  Some examples of questions you might ask are:

  • Name and address of employer
  • Dates of employment
  • Amount of earnings
  • Type of business or self-employment
  • Rate of pay
  • Work Performed

The COVERED EMPLOYMENT CHART should be used as a guide.  The Social Security provisions are very complex and the chart may not include all exceptions in the Social Security Act.

It is important to note that 97 percent of all employment is now covered under the Social Security Act.

STEP 2: After you are satisfied that the noncovered earnings exist use the following chart to determine the number of QQs that can be credited.  You can combine covered and noncovered earnings for a year.  The dollar amount indicates the amount needed to credit one qualifying quarter beginning with 1978.

Covered Employment Chart Year Coverage Began
Employment in the United States–except as indicated 1937
Agriculture Farm Labor, including domestics 1951
Domestic Service–over $50 a calendar quarter (through 1994) 1951
Domestic Service–over $1000 per year 1995
Federal Government Civilians not under civil service retirement Uniformed Services 1951 1957
Federal Government new hires–compulsory 1984
Homeworkers ($50 a quarter; State license) 1951
Homeworkers ($50 a quarter; no license needed) 1955
State and local government–elective Not under a State or local retirement system Under a State or local retirement system 1951 1955
State and local Government–compulsory for non-members of employees’ retirement system 7/2/1991
Nonprofit organizations–elective 1951
Nonprofit organizations–compulsory 1984
Ministers (covered as self-employed) 1937
Railroads–service less than 10 years covered by transfer of credits 1951
Tips–Cash Tips of $20 or more in a month from one employer 1966
Vow of poverty members of religious orders–if order elects to cover lay employees and members of the order

Employment outside the United States Year Coverage Began
Puerto Rico 1951
Virgin Islands 1951
On American ships and aircraft 1951
Guam 1961
American Samoa 1961

Self-Employment–except as indicated 1951
Farmers 1955
Materially-participating farmers 1956
Professional groups excluding lawyers, dentists, doctors, and other medical groups 1955
Ministers-elective Compulsory 1955 1968
Lawyers, dentists and other medical groups excluding doctors of medicine 1956
Doctors of Medicine 1965
American citizens employed in the United States by government (covered as self-employed) 1961
Direct sellers (house to house salespersons) 1983
Real estate agents 1983
Newspaper and shopping news distributors 1994

If you determine the earnings are from covered employment or Federal, State or local Medicare-only wages, then go to Section 1105.098.20 Reconciliation – Covered Earnings for development guidelines.

If you determine the earnings are from other noncovered employment, then you must obtain satisfactory evidence that the earnings exist before you can use the earnings to credit QQs.  Follow the agency’s guidelines for developing eligibility requirements and evidentiary proof when making a decision.  However, the following list suggests a means to obtain evidence necessary to credit QQs for an immigrant.