How Social Security Triggers Part A
In the way that our laws are written, once you turn 65 and become eligible for Medicare, you cannot enroll in Social Security without triggering Part A. The two coverages are irrevocably linked. Now, this is ok for most people who dont mind activating Part A since they dont pay premiums for that part.
However, some people wish to delay enrollment into Part A because they are contributing to an H.S.A. account. The IRS will not allow you to continue contributions into a health savings accounts if you have any part of Medicare active. That means that if you plan to contribute after you turn 65, you must not enroll in Social Security because it will automatically trigger your Part A benefits with Medicare.
This would be the one scenario where not enrolling into any part of Medicare at age 65 would make sense.
When To Start Your Social Security
Here in America, you are eligible to begin taking Social Security benefits as early as age 62 if you have earned enough credits. The latest that you can start your benefits is at age 70.
If you begin your Social Security benefits at age 62, your benefits will be reduced based on the number of months that you receive your benefits before you have reached your full retirement age.
Your full retirement age in terms of Social Security is generally considered to be at age 66 and a half. However, this varies based on the year that you were born. Visit this page on the Social Security website for more specifics.
In very simple terms, taking income benefits earlier than your full retirement ages means that your monthly benefit amount will be lower. Waiting and taking those benefits later, up to age 70, means you will have a larger monthly benefit check.
Delaying your Social Security income benefits does not affect your eligibility for Medicare at age 65 either.
If Your Income Has Gone Down
If your income has gone down due to any of the following situations, and the change makes a difference in the income level we consider, contact us to explain that you have new information and may need a new decision about your income-related monthly adjustment amount:
- You married, divorced, or became widowed.
- You or your spouse stopped working or reduced your work hours.
- You or your spouse lost income-producing property because of a disaster or other event beyond your control.
- You or your spouse experienced a scheduled cessation, termination, or reorganization of an employers pension plan.
- You or your spouse received a settlement from an employer or former employer because of the employers closure, bankruptcy, or reorganization.
If any of the above applies to you, we need to see documentation verifying the event and the reduction in your income. The documentation you provide should relate to the event and may include a death certificate, a letter from your employer about your retirement, or something similar. If you filed a federal income tax return for the year in question, you need to show us your signed copy of the return. Use Form Medicare Income-Related Monthly Adjustment Amount Life-Changing Event to report a major life-changing event. If your income has gone down, you may also use Form SSA-44 to request a reduction in your income-related monthly adjustment amount.
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Your Work Activity Moves The Focus To Your Ongoing Work Away From Your Disability
Think about how a social security disability decision-maker, such as an Administrative Law Judge, would consider the typical disability case in which the claimant is not working.
For the non-working claimant, the ALJ simply must assess why that person can no longer work. The focus is on the medical conditions that you have. But if you are continuing to work, the ALJ will naturally focus on your work activity.
In particular, she will be considering the following:
- Have you restricted your work activity so that you will not exceed the substantial gainful activity amount?
- How did you decide on the work level you are performing?
- Is there a medical basis and evidence to support your inability to perform substantial gainful activity, given that you are in fact able to work part-time?
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How To Opt Out Of Medicare Part B
So, if you dont want to be enrolled, you may be able to opt out. Follow the instructions in your Welcome to Medicare packet, which Medicare sends you during the three months before youre eligible, in most cases.
Were always happy to answer your questions. Call one of our eHealth licensed insurance agents at 1-888-296-0117 . Representatives are available from 8 AM to 8 PM Monday through Friday, and from 10 AM to 7 PM Saturdays, Eastern time.
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Earn Ssa Work Credits In Some Countries
You may not have enough credits from your work in the United States to qualify for retirement benefits. But, you may be able to count your work credits from another country. The SSA has agreements with 24 countries. If you earned credits in one of those countries, they can help you qualify for U.S. benefits.
Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage
Medicare Prescription Drug Plans are sold by private insurance companies approved by Medicare. All people new to Medicare have a seven-month window to enroll in a PDP three months before, the month of and three months after their Medicare becomes effective. The month you enroll affects the PDPs effective date. All people with Medicare are eligible to enroll in a PDP however, unless you are new to Medicare or are entitled to a Special Enrollment Period, you must enroll or change plans during the Open Enrollment Period for Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D, Oct. 15 through Dec. 7. There is a monthly premium for these plans. If you have limited income and assets/resources, assistance is available to help pay premiums, deductibles and co-payments. You may be entitled to Extra Help through the Social Security Administration. To apply for this benefit contact SHIIP at 1-855-408-1212 or the Social Security Administration at 800-772-1213 or www.socialsecurity.gov.
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The Quick Answer: Absolutely
Medicare provides critical health benefits for millions of seniors 65 and over. Similarly, Social Security serves as a crucial source of income for countless retirees. And though the two often go hand in hand, you actually don’t need to file for Social Security in order to receive coverage under Medicare.
Medicare coverage kicks in at age 65, and your initial enrollment period begins three months before the month you turn 65 and ends three months after the month you turn 65. But whether you’re retiring at 65 or still working, you’re allowed to sign up for Medicare without filing for Social Security simultaneously. In fact, in many cases, it pays to wait on Social Security for several years.
Can I Get Medicare Coverage If I Don’t Sign Up For Social Security At 65
Who is this for?
If you’re not planning on signing up for Social Security right away, you can still enroll in Medicare. Learn how here.
These days, people are retiring later in life than their parents did. If youre still working, you might not want to start collecting Social Security benefits right when you turn 65.
But you can enroll in Medicare at 65 even if youre not getting Social Security. In some cases, signing up for Medicare as soon as youre eligible is better than waiting.
- Medicare might have better coverage than your health insurance plan through work.
- If you dont have a comparable health insurance plan and you wait to sign up for Medicare, your Medicare premiums will be higher when you do sign up.
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When To Start Your Medicare Benefits
Unlike Social Security, Medicare is a program in which you cannot enroll until you turn 65, unless you have a disability that qualifies you to take it earlier. So even if you start your Social Security benefits at age 62 you will not age into Medicare until age 65.
Most people enroll in Medicare at 65, but some people who are still working will delay their benefits for outpatient and drug coverage. Well explain more on this below.
How Social Security Determines You Have A Higher Premium
Social Security uses the most recent federal tax return the IRS provides to us. If you must pay higher premiums, we use a sliding scale to calculate the adjustments, based on your modified adjusted gross income . Your MAGI is your total adjusted gross income and tax-exempt interest income.
If you file your taxes as married, filing jointly and your MAGI is greater than $176,000, youll pay higher premiums for your Part B and Medicare prescription drug coverage. If you file your taxes using a different status, and your MAGI is greater than $88,000, youll pay higher premiums , for an idea of what you can expect to pay).
If you must pay higher premiums, well send you a letter with your premium amount and the reason for our determination. If you have both Medicare Part B and Medicare prescription drug coverage, youll pay higher premiums for each. If you have only one Medicare Part B or Medicare prescription drug coverage youll pay an income-related monthly adjustment amount only on the benefit you have. If you decide to enroll in the other program later in the same year, and you already are paying an income-related monthly adjustment amount, well apply an adjustment automatically to the other program when you enroll. In this case, we wont send you another letter explaining how we made this determination.
Remember, if your income isnt greater than the limits described above, this law does not apply to you.
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Is It Risky To Work While Applying For Disability
As stated earlier, the decision to apply for disability is not a choice, but a last resort. If you are able to work, then that work should be pursued if work activity on a regular and consistent basis is not possible, a disability benefits application should be filed. Any work activity or attempts should always be reported to SSA if you have a disability case pending or are awarded benefits. Failure to report your work activity is perjury and may be punishable by law.
The disability application process is lengthy most cases are not decided for two to three years after the initial application and many cases are denied even through all levels of appeal. If part-time or occasional work can be found and if you are able to do that work, your case may or may not be impacted. While it is not prohibited to work while remaining under the $1,310 amount per month, the Social Security Administration will take your ability to continue working into account when reviewing your disability case. Claims representatives may simply be less inclined to believe that your disability precludes full-time employment if they see you working 32 hours per week without any problems.
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Is Medicare Mandatory When Youre First Eligible
If youre still working when you turn 65, or you become eligible through disability, you may be covered under your employers group plan. Or maybe your spouse has an employment-based or union-based group health plan that covers you. You usually dont have to enroll in Medicare right away if you have a group health plan.
Traditional Medicare refers to Medicare Part A, which is hospital insurance, and Part B, which is medical insurance. Part A can be premium-free if youve worked and paid taxes long enough. If you qualify for premium-free Medicare Part A, theres little reason not to take it.
In fact, if you dont pay a premium for Part A, you cannot refuse or opt out of this coverage unless you also give up your Social Security or Railroad Retirement Board benefits. Youd also have to pay back your previous benefits to the government.
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How To Easily Apply For Your Social Security Benefits In 2021
Social Security is a program that was established more than 80 years ago. Its purpose is to provide income benefits for retired people. Did you know disabled persons can also apply? Additionally, widows and surviving dependents are also eligible for benefits.
Before applying for social security, see if you qualify. Certain age requirements must be met. Also, credits or points earned for working are needed. Once these conditions have been met you can apply for benefits. The next step is to contact the Social Security Administration. You can easily open up an account online. If you prefer,you may contact your local office.
Plan And Budget Carefully
While every case is different, it can take some time for your Social Security benefits to be approved. This is true regardless of if you are applying for retirement benefits, disability benefits, or something else.
If you dont plan carefully for a potentially long wait, you may be like the many people who lose their savings, cars, retirement funds, and even their homes.
You should work to reduce how much you are spending as you wait for the approval.
While you are waiting to learn if you are going to begin receiving benefits, you may find it challenging to make ends meet. As a result, its a good idea to begin practicing new spending habits. You need to take some time to reassess your purchasing decisions and your budget.
Keep in mind both retirement and disability benefits from the Social Security Administration are going to put food on your table and help you retain your livelihood they arent going to replace the full salary you once earned.
Making this transition is going to require some lifestyle adjustments . Think about finding out if there are any organizations in your community that can provide assistance with housing, utilities, and food.
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A You Can Continue Working And Start Receiving Your Retirement Benefits
If you start your benefits before your full retirement age, your benefits are reduced a fraction of a percent for each month before your full retirement age.
You can get Social Security retirement benefits and work at the same time before your full retirement age. However your benefits will be reduced if you earn more than the yearly earnings limits.
After you reach your full retirement age, we will recalculate your benefit amount to give you credit for any months you did not receive a benefit because of your earnings. We will send you a letter that explains any increase in your benefit amount.
If you delay filing for your benefits until after full retirement age, you will be eligible for delayed retirement credits that would increase your monthly benefit. If you also continue to work, you will be able to receive your full retirement benefits and any increase resulting from your additional earnings when we recalculate your benefits. Once you reach full retirement age, your earnings do not affect your benefit amount.
If you start receiving retirement benefits before age 65, you are automatically enrolled in Original Medicare when you turn 65. If you or your spouse are still working and covered under an employer-provided group health plan, talk to the personnel office before signing up for Medicare Part B. To learn more, read our Medicare publication.
Medicaid Or Medicare Savings Programs
Medicare beneficiaries with limited income or very high medical costs may be eligible to receive assistance from the Medicaid program. There are also Medicare Savings Programs for other limited-income beneficiaries that may help pay for Medicare premiums, deductibles, and coinsurance. There are specified income and resources limits for both programs. Contact your local county Department of Social Services or SHIIP to apply for one of these programs.
Determining If You Qualify
The Social Security website provides a list of requirements that you will need to meet in order to be eligible for SSDI benefits. Additionally, you can look through their Blue Book, which lists the conditions and symptoms that they consider disabling. Matching your condition or symptoms to those that are listed will help you determine if you qualify.
Don’t Wait On Medicare
While it pays to hold off on Social Security as long as possible to ensure that you get the most out of your benefits, delaying Medicare is a different story. In fact, if you fail to sign up for Medicare during your initial enrollment period , you’ll face a 10% increase in your Part B premiums that could raise your healthcare costs for life. You’ll also face a penalty if you go too long without a Part D prescription drug plan.
Keep in mind that there are exceptions to this rule. If you’re still working at age 65 and have health insurance through your employer, and your company employs 20 people or more, you don’t have to enroll in Medicare right away. Rather, you’ll get a special enrollment period that begins once you leave your job, or your group health plan is terminated. On the other hand, if you work for a company that employs fewer than 20 people, you’ll need to sign up for Medicare during your initial enrollment period to avoid a penalty. But if you do, you’re in no way compelled to file for Social Security at the same time.
Though many people tend to associate Medicare and Social Security with one another, the two are very different beasts. That’s why it pays to read up on how these vital programs work, and then develop your own strategy for making the most of them.