Q. My husband draws a government check in which they did not take out Social Security. Now he is working trying to get his quarters to draw Social Security. Is it worth the trouble of him working to draw as little as $100.00? From what I read he can draw Medicare off of me. I have more than enough quarters. And also why does he have to pay Social Security when he cannot draw it. Our CPA said that he is required by law to pay into Social Security. He is a private contractor and when we called Social Security they said it was up to him. We paid Social Security, but I do not think it is fair. Can he draw social Security off of me? He is older than I by 6 years. So what about Medicare for him?

A. Virtually all earnings in the U.S. are subject to Social Security FICA or SECA taxation. The limited exceptions include Federal, state or local government positions not covered by Social Security or employment with an international organization such as the World Bank or United Nations. Any Social Security Administration representative who told your husband it “was up to him” whether he paid Social Security contributions on his net private contractor earnings was in error and should be reported to the office manager or to a supervisor. For information on how those earnings should be reported, contact the Internal Revenue Service.

When you reach age 62, your husband will be eligible for premium-free Medicare Part A Hospital Insurance based on your earnings record. Since he is six years older than you that means he will be 68 before he is eligible for Medicare on your earnings record. Earning any additional credits he needs to be eligible for his own Social Security will entitle him to Medicare at age 65 or as soon thereafter as he gains the necessary 40 quarters. After he earns 30 quarters, he can purchase PartĀ A for a reduced premium. Earlier eligibility for Medicare may be the most valuable result of gaining his own coverage.

Your husband will be eligible for Social Security at retirement age if he earns the necessary credits. The amount of his monthly benefit will depend on his average lifetime earnings in Social Security covered employment. Because he receives a non-Social Security retirement benefit, his right to a spouse benefit based on your Social Security earnings record will be limited by the Social Security Act’s Government Pension Offset provision. His own Social Security benefit will be calculated based on the Windfall Elimination Provision.

For a fuller explanation go to http://www.socialsecurity.gov/gpo-wep/ .