Tuesday, September 27, 2022

How And When To File For Social Security

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Documents You May Need To Provide

How To Apply For Social Security Benefits: What You Need To Know

We may ask you to provide documents to show that you are eligible, such as:

  • Birth certificate or other proof of birth
  • Proof of U.S. citizenship or lawful alien status if you were not born in the United States
  • U.S. military discharge paper if you had military service before 1968
  • W-2 forms and/or self-employment tax returns for last year.
  • Final divorce decree, if applying as a divorced spouse and

Important

We accept photocopies of W-2 forms, self-employment tax returns or medical documents, but we must see the original of most other documents, such as your birth certificate.

Do not delay applying for benefits because you do not have all the documents. We will help you get them.

What You Need For Apply For Ssdi Or Ssi Benefits

You will get a faster decision when you apply for Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income with the Social Security Administration if you provide:

  • Your Social Security number
  • Medical records from your doctors, therapists, hospitals, clinics and caseworkers
  • Laboratory and test results
  • Names, addresses, phone and fax numbers of your doctors, clinics and hospitals
  • Names of all medications you are taking
  • Names of your employers and job duties for the last 15 years

If you are applying for a child, you also need school records regarding your child’s disability.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Don’t wait to file your claim for disability payments even if you don’t have all this information.

Documents You Need To Apply

Please select the benefit you will be applying for from the list below to see what information and documents you may need when you apply:

    If you don’t have all the documents you need, don’t delay applying for Social Security benefits.

    In many cases, your local Social Security office can contact your state Bureau of Vital Statistics and verify your information online at no cost to you. If we can’t verify your information online, we can still help you get the information you need.

    Mailing Your Documents

    If you mail any documents to us, you must include the Social Security number so that we can match them with the correct application. Do not write anything on the original documents. Please write the Social Security number on a separate sheet of paper and include it in the mailing envelope along with the documents.

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    Who Must Pay Self

    You must pay self-employment tax and file Schedule SE if either of the following applies.

    • Your net earnings from self-employment were $400 or more.
    • You had church employee income of $108.28 or more.

    Generally, your net earnings from self-employment are subject to self-employment tax. If you are self-employed as a sole proprietor or independent contractor, you generally use Schedule C to figure net earnings from self-employment.

    If you have earnings subject to self-employment tax, use Schedule SE to figure your net earnings from self-employment. Before you figure your net earnings, you generally need to figure your total earnings subject to self-employment tax.

    Note: The self-employment tax rules apply no matter how old you are and even if you are already receiving Social Security or Medicare.

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    Theres A Social Security Spousal Benefit

    How to Apply for Social Security Disability?

    Marriage brings couples an advantage when it comes to Social Security. Namely, one spouse can take what’s called a spousal benefit, worth up to 50% of the other spouse’s Social Security benefit. Put simply, if your monthly Social Security benefit is worth $2,000 but your spouse’s own benefit is only worth $500, your spouse can collect a spousal benefit worth $1,000 — bringing in $500 more in income per month. Just as the benefit based on your own work history is reduced if you claim it early, the same is true for a spousal benefit. That 50% figure is the maximum amount that only a spouse who is at least full retirement age is eligible for. Taking the spousal benefit early at, say, age 62, reduces the amount to as little as 32.5% of the higher earners benefit. If you take your own benefit early and then later switch to a spousal benefit, your spousal benefit will still be reduced.

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    Corrected Card For A Noncitizen Child

    If you legally change your childs name because of adoption, court order or any other reason, you need to tell Social Security. If your child is working, also tell your childs employer. If you do not tell us when your childs name changes, it may:

    • Delay your tax refund or your childs refund and
    • Prevent your childs wages from being posted correctly to your childs Social Security record, which may lower the amount of your childs future Social Security benefits.

    Important

    You must present original documents or copies certified by the agency that issued them. We cannot accept photocopies or notarized copies. All documents must be current . We cannot accept a receipt showing you applied for the document.

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    How Do I Apply For Spousal Benefits

    You can file for spousal benefits the same way you would earned benefits: on the Social Security Administration website, by phone at 1-800-772-1213, or by visiting your local Social Security field office. Once approved, you will receive monthly payments by check or direct deposit.

    When you apply for Social Security spousal benefits, they may ask you to provide the following documents to confirm you are eligible:

    • Birth certificate
    • Proof of U.S. citizenship. If you were not born in the U.S., you will need to show lawful alien status
    • U.S. military discharge papers if you served before 1968
    • W-2 forms and/or self-employment tax returns for last year

    Applying and ensuring you claim the right benefit at the right time for your personal finances can be confusing. When youre ready to apply, we recommend using a checklist to ensure you take the right steps and have the right documentation.

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    How To Claim It

    Applying for survivor benefits can be done by calling the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213.

    This number can also be used to report a death.

    You can also visit your local Social Security office.

    However, you cannot apply for survivors benefits online.

    Survivors must apply for the $255 payment within two years of the date of death.

    If You’re Not Sure Why You Received A Payment

    How do I File a Social Security Disability Application.

    Contact the authorizing agency directly to find out why they sent the payment. You may be able to find the authorizing agency in the memo line of the check. View this diagram of a sample Treasury check to help you locate the authorizing agency contact information on your own check. Scroll about half way down the page to see the diagram.

    If you’re unable to find which agency authorized the payment, . They can help you determine which government agency you need to contact. To find which RFC you need to call, look for its city and state at the top center of the check.

    Use the Treasury Check Verification System to verify that the check is legitmate and issued by the government.

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    Determine If You Qualify As Self

    If you own a small business or work as a freelancer, Uncle Sam considers you self-employed. IRS rules state that if one of the following three situations applies to you, then youre self-employed:

    • You carry on a trade or business as a sole proprietorship or as an independent contractor.
    • Youre a member of a partnership that carries on a trade or business.
    • Youre otherwise in business including a part-time business for yourself.

    And generally, if you do some freelance moonlighting outside of your salaried job, you still qualify as self-employed.

    How Do Benefits Work And How Can I Qualify

    While you work, you pay Social Security taxes. This tax money goes into a trust fund that pays benefits to:

    • Those who are currently retired

    • To people with disabilities

    • To the surviving spouses and children of workers who have died

    Each year you work, youll get credits to help you become eligible for benefits when its time for you to retire. Find all the benefits Social Security Administration offers.

    There are four main types of benefits that the SSA offers:

    • Learn about earning limits if you plan to work while receiving Social Security benefits

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    Workers Compensation Disability Benefits

    After an on-the-job injury, you may receive temporary or permanent disability benefits if you are unable to work. Workers compensation laws about working while receiving benefits vary depending on your state. For example, Louisiana forbids you to get another job while receiving WC benefits. However, in Massachusetts if you already have another job, you can continue to work as long as long as your duties do not conflict with your injury and you report the income to your workers compensation benefit provider. Contact the claims adjuster managing your case if you have any questions about obtaining or retaining a part-time job.

    How To File Self

    How to Apply for Social Security: A Step

    When youre self-employed, paying taxes is a little more involved than merely doing your income tax filing once a year as you do when youre an employee. Youll need to file the appropriate self-employment tax forms and, depending on your situation, pay self-employment tax throughout the year. Heres what you need to know about filing taxes as a self-employed person.

    You must pay self-employment tax and file Schedule SE if either of the following applies.

    • Your net earnings from self-employment were $400 or more.
    • You had church employee income of $108.28 or more.

    Generally, your net earnings from self-employment are subject to self-employment tax. If you are self-employed as a sole proprietor or independent contractor, you generally use Schedule C to figure net earnings from self-employment.

    If you have earnings subject to self-employment tax, use Schedule SE to figure your net earnings from self-employment. Before you figure your net earnings, you generally need to figure your total earnings subject to self-employment tax.

    Note: The self-employment tax rules apply no matter how old you are and even if you are already receiving Social Security or Medicare.

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    Your Social Security Full Retirement Age Plays A Big Role Know It

    First things first:Determine your Social Security full retirement age. For people born between 1943 and 1954, full retirement age is 66. It gradually climbs toward 67 if your birthday falls between 1955 and 1959. For those born in 1960 or later, full retirement age is 67.

    You can claim your Social Security benefits a few years before or after your full retirement age, and your monthly benefit amount will vary as a result. More on that in a moment.

    Beware The Social Security Earnings Test

    Bringing in too much money in earned income can cost you if you continue to work after claiming Social Security benefits early. With what is commonly known as the Social Security earnings test, you will forfeit $1 in benefits for every $2 you make over the earnings limit, which in 2021 is $18,960. Once you are past full retirement age, the earnings test disappears, and you can make as much money as you want with no impact on benefits.

    Any Social Security benefits forfeited to the earnings test are not lost forever. At your full retirement age, the Social Security Administration will recalculate your benefits to take into account benefits lost to the test. For example, if you claim benefits at 62 and over the next four years lose one full years worth of benefits to the earnings test, at a full retirement age of 66 your benefits will be recomputed — and increased — as if you had taken benefits three years early, instead of four. That basically means the lifetime reduction in benefits would be 20% rather than 25%.

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    Apply For Retirement Benefits

    Starting your Social Security retirement benefits is a major step on your retirement journey. This page will guide you through the process of applying for retirement benefits when youre ready to take that step. Our online application is a convenient way to apply on your own schedule, without an appointment. You can also apply by phone or by appointment at a Social Security office.

    What Substantial Gainful Activity Means For The Self

    How to Apply for Social Security Retirement Online

    The inability to engage in substantial gainful activity is required to be approved for SSDI or SSI disability benefits in 2021, you cant make more than $1,310 per month and qualify for SSDI .

    If you are self-employed, however, the SSA recognizes that your net profit isnt necessarily a good indicator of whether youre doing substantial gainful activity. Instead, the SSA will apply what they call The Three Tests to determine if your work activity is SGA. Your work will be considered SGA if you perform work that:

    • provides significant services to the business and brings in $1,310 or more in average monthly income
    • is comparable to the work of persons without disability in your community engaged in the same or similar businesses, or
    • is worth $1,310 per month in terms of its effect on the business or what it saves you from having to pay an employee to do the work.

    If youve been receiving Social Security disability benefits for more than two years, this test is a bit easier to meet.

    In judging your income, the SSA will deduct any unincurred business expenses from your net earnings, which are expenses that you dont pay forthat is, contributions made by others. For example, if a friend volunteers for your business to help you out or if you receive equipment through a vocational training program, the value of these expenses is deducted from your net earnings to give the SSA a more accurate value of your work.

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    How To Get A Social Security Card

  • Gather your documents. Learn what documents you’ll need to get a card. Select your situation:
  • Adult or child
  • Original, replacement, or corrected card
  • U.S. born citizen, foreign born U.S. citizen, or noncitizen
  • Apply online for a replacement card. Apply online if youre not changing anything on your card and you are eligible. This option is available in most states. You will need to make a my Social Security account first. Or complete an application. If you can not apply online, fill out an application and return it to the SSA. Find out where to take it in person or mail it.
  • Social Security Cards: Documents Required To Obtain A Social Security Number And Card Or A Replacement Card

    If an individual is unable to conduct business online, check the online field office locator for specific information about how to directly contact a local office in your area. The National 800 number is 1-800-772-1213 and .

    +++++++++

    The following information was obtained from the U.S. Social Security Administrations web page at: .

    To Obtain a New Social Security Number and Card you will need to provide at least two documents to prove age, identity, and U.S. citizenship or current immigration status.

    The new online service allows individuals to get replacement Social Security cards through the Social Security Administration website at: www.socialsecurity.gov/ssnumber

    To Obtain a Replacement Card, if lost or stolen, you must prove your identity and U.S. citizenship.

    To prove identity: Social Security must see:

    • U.S. drivers license or
    • State-issued non-driver identity card or
    • U.S. passport.
    • Employee ID card

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    If Health Problems Force You To Retire Early

    Sometimes health problems force people to retire early. If you cannot work because of health problems, you should consider applying for Social Security disability benefits. The amount of the disability benefit is the same as a full, unreduced retirement benefit. If you are receiving Social Security disability benefits when you reach full retirement age, those benefits will be converted to retirement benefits.

    Get Ssa Benefits While Living Overseas

    How and When to Apply for Social Security Benefits

    U.S. citizens can travel to or live in most, but not all, foreign countries and still receive their Social Security benefits. You can find out if you can receive benefits overseas by using the Social Security Administrations payment verification tool. Once you access the tool, pick the country you’re visiting or living in from the drop-down menu options.

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    How Social Security Earnings Are Reported

    Both wages paid by an employer and net earnings from self-employment count toward your Social Security earnings. Wages are reported to the Social Security Administration using Form W-2 if you also hold down a regular job. Your Social Security wages are reported in box 3 of Form W-2, and the Social Security tax you paid through withholding is reported in box 4.

    Employers must file W-2 Forms with the Social Security Administration no later than January 31 for the previous calendar year. This more or less guarantees that wages will always be credited to your account for Social Security purposes within the three-year-plus time period.

    Self-employment earnings from working as an independent contractor, freelancer, or running your own business or a farm are self-reported using Schedule C for non-farm businesses or Schedule F for self-employed farmers. You should include these schedules along with your Form 1040 tax return when you file it.

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    An Example Of Taxed Benefits

    Lets say you receive the maximum Social Security benefit for a worker retiring at FRA in 2021: $3,148 per month. Your spouse receives half as much, or $1,574 a month. Together, you receive $4,722 a month, or $56,664 per year. Half of that, or $28,332, counts toward your combined income for determining whether you have to pay tax on part of your Social Security benefits. Lets further assume that you dont have any nontaxable interest, wages, or other income except for your traditional individual retirement accounts required minimum distribution of $10,000 for the year.

    Your combined income would be $38,332half of your Social Security income, plus your IRA distributionwhich would make up to 50% of your Social Security benefits taxable, because youve exceeded the $32,000 threshold. Now, you may be thinking, 50% of $56,664 is $28,332, and Im in the 12% tax bracket, so the tax on my Social Security benefits will be $3,399.84.

    Fortunately, the calculation takes other factors into account, and your tax would really be a mere $225. You can read all about the taxation of Social Security benefits in Internal Revenue Service Publication 915.

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