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.
Reasons To Avoid Sugar If You Have Rheumatoid Arthritis
Some people with rheumatoid arthritis choose to limit or eliminate certain foods from their diets to reduce inflammation. One ingredient that your health care provider may recommend you avoid when living with inflammatory arthritis is sugar. From aggravating RA symptoms and inflammation to increasing your risk for other complications or health issues, too much sugar or sugar substitutes can make life with RA even more difficult.
Here are three reasons why you should consider limiting your sugar intake as part of your RA care plan. As always, ask your rheumatologist or a health care provider for medical advice before making dietary changes. They can advise you on the best way to do so or refer you to a specialist, such as a registered dietitian, for further guidance.
When Should You Retire
To draw full retirement benefits, the following Social Security Administration age rules apply:
Born in 1937 or earlier – Full retirement can be drawn at age 65Born in 1938 – Full retirement can be drawn at age 65 years and 2 monthsBorn in 1939 — Full retirement can be drawn at age 65 years and 4 monthsBorn in 1940 — Full retirement can be drawn at age 65 years and 6 monthsBorn in 1941 — Full retirement can be drawn at age 65 years and 8 monthsBorn in 1942 — Full retirement can be drawn at age 65 years and 10 monthsBorn in 1943-1954 — Full retirement can be drawn at age 66Born in 1955 – Full retirement can be drawn at age 66 and 2 monthsBorn in 1956 — Full retirement can be drawn at age 66 and 4 monthsBorn in 1957 — Full retirement can be drawn at age 66 and 6 monthsBorn in 1958 — Full retirement can be drawn at age 66 and 8 monthsBorn in 1959 — Full retirement can be drawn at age 66 and 10 monthsBorn in 1960 or later — Full retirement can be drawn at age 67
Remember that while you can begin drawing Social Security retirement benefits at age 62, your benefits will be 25 percent less than what they will be if you wait until your full retirement age as shown above. Also keep in mind that no matter when you start drawing Social Security benefits, you must be 65 to be eligible for Medicare.
For example, people who waited until age 70 to retire in 2017 could get a maximum benefit of $3,538.
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Who Is Eligible For Ssi
Anyone may apply for SSI. The SSI program provides monthly payments to people who:
- Are at least age 65 or blind or disabled.
- Have limited income .
- Have limited resources .
- Are U.S. citizens, nationals of the U.S., or some noncitizens.
- Reside in one of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, or the Northern Mariana Islands. Exception: The children of military parent assigned to permanent duty outside the U.S. and certain students temporarily abroad may receive SSI payments outside the U.S.
The Basics About Disability Benefits
The SSDI program pays benefits to you and certain if you are insured. This means that you worked long enough and recently enough – and paid Social Security taxes on your earnings. The program pays benefits to adults and children with disabilities who have limited income and resources.
While these two programs are different, the medical requirements are the same. If you meet the non-medical requirements, monthly benefits are paid if you have a medical condition expected to last at least one year or result in death.
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The Big Question: When Should I Apply For Retirement Benefits
The single biggest decision youll make when it comes to Social Security retirement benefits is when to apply.
Every persons situation is unique and so theres no single right answer. In general terms and based on life expectancies, Social Security retirement benefits are calculated to give you approximately the same total amount of benefits over your lifetime. If you decide to draw benefits earlier in your life, your average monthly amount will be less than if you delay and draw benefits later in life.
The amount you receive can vary widely. For example, if you were born in 1953 or 1954 and you were entitled to draw a $1,000 benefit at your full retirement age of 66, that amount would be $750 if you decided to draw benefits starting at age 62. But in that same scenario, if you delayed benefits until age 70, the amount would jump to $1,350.
There is no exact science when deciding when to apply, but here are some things to consider as you decide whats best for you.
Who Is Eligible For Social Security Retirement Benefits
The U.S. Congress passed the 1935 Social Security Act as a way to supplement retirement earnings for primary working Americans. The original law also included the nations first unemployment insurance program as well as several health and welfare programs. Shortly thereafter, the law was changed to add survivor benefits for spouses and children, and in 1956 disability benefits were also added.
The Social Security Administration now serves 60 million Americans who will receive $870 billion in benefits in 2015.
The administration of such a large benefits program can be complicated at times, with numerous special instances, exceptions and nuances that can impact how benefits are disbursed to recipients.
This guide will introduce applicants to the basics of applying for Social Security retirement benefits and answer many of the common questions that arise when first considering to apply for benefits.
It will also address many special circumstances that can arise involving spouses and children, specific circumstances regarding timing, amounts, and maximizing benefits while also offering a comprehensive list of resources that may prove valuable throughout the Social Security retirement benefits process.
What Documents Do I Need To Submit
To apply for Social Security Benefit you need the following documents:
- Your Social Security card or a record of your SSN
- Your original birth certificate, a certified copy from the issuing agency, or another kind of proof of your age. Photocopies or notarized copies are NOT accepted.
- If youre not U.S.-born you will need to have proof of lawful alien status or U.S. citizenship. Expired documents, notarized copies, or photocopies are not accepted.
- If you served in the military before 1968, you need to provide a copy of your U. S. military service paper. You can submit a photocopy of this document.
- Self-employment tax return for the previous year and/or a copy of your W-2 form . You can submit a photocopy of this document as well.
You can view the Social Security Checklist For Retirement, Medicare, and Spouses Application here.
If you have applied for Medicare or a Social Security claim, you should have already provided proof of age and/or citizenship. In this case, you may not need to submit proof of age or U.S. citizenship again.
It is recommended to apply for Social Security benefits as soon as you can. If you do not have all the above documents ready, you could still start the application process. Missing documents can be provided later.
If you delay applying for your benefits, you may lose out on receiving them.
The Bleak Future Of Social Security
Aggravated by the COVID pandemic, the Social Security trust fund most Americans rely on for their retirement will run out of money in 12 years, one year sooner than expected, according to the annual Social Security 2021 Trustees Report published on August 31, 2021. The pandemic also threatens to shrink retirement payments and increase health-care costs for older Americans, according to the Trustees.
The Treasury Department oversees two Social Security funds: Old-Age and Survivors Insurance and Disability Insurance Trust Funds. These funds are intended to provide a source of income to former workers who have retired at the end of their careers or to those who cannot work due to a disability, respectively.
Social Security officials said that the Old-Age and Survivors trust fund is now able to pay scheduled benefits until 2033, one year earlier than reported last year. The Disability Insurance fund is estimated to be adequately funded through 2057, eight years earlier than in the report published in 2020.
In a press briefing, senior Biden administration officials said that a COVID-related spike in deaths among retirement-age Americans in 2020 helped keep the programs costs lower than projected. They also noted, however, that the long-term effects of the COVID pandemic on the Social Security trust funds is harder to project as costs and revenues return to their extended forecasts.
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What Questions Will Social Security Ask Me When I Am Applying For My Benefits
You will be asked about your date of birth, your Social Security Number, any former spouse, or your current spouse. You will be asked to confirm the names of any unmarried children or any children under 19 or disabled.
You will be asked about your bank account information, your citizenship, any previous benefits you have applied for or received.
Questions about your previous or current employment, earnings the year before, and any military service will be asked.
There are many other questions you may be asked, it is best to be prepared to answer anything related to your past financial, medical, military, tax, and family history.
Some Publications That Will Give You More Information On Disability Benefits
The Disability Starter Kit will help you get ready for your disability interview or online application. Kits are available for adults and for children under age 18.
The starter kits provide information about the specific documents and the information that we will request from you.
The kits also provide general information about the disability programs and our decision-making process.
Here are some additional resources with information on disability benefits:
- Disability Evaluation Under Social Security – Medical criteria for evaluating Social Security disability claims
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When To Apply For Social Security
As stated above, you are eligible to apply for Social Security retirement benefits when you are 61 and nine months. You can start collecting benefits as soon as you turn 62.
However, just because you can, does not mean that you should.
The longer you delay starting your benefits, the more your monthly income will be. In fact, the difference in lifetime income between starting at age 62 and waiting until your maximum retirement age can be more than $100,000 and for many people much much more.
While you can start benefits at age 62, the Social Security Administration considers that early. Depending on your birth year, you do not reach what the SSA calls full retirement age until sometime between ages 66 and 67.
- For every month prior to your full retirement age that you begin taking benefits, around 0.55% is deducted from your payout.
- And, for every year that you defer your benefits, you will receive a larger amount when you finally do begin drawing Social Security. The amount of the bonus is dependent, once more, on your birth date. For example, someone born in 1944 has a full retirement age of 66. If they start benefits at age 69, they will receive eight percent more benefits for each year they delay.
Supplemental Security Income Application Process And Applicants’ Rights
CHECK IF YOU ARE ELIGIBLE FOR SSI AND HOW TO APPLY
We strongly recommend you check the eligibility requirements for SSI before you start your application or contact us to make an appointment. If you are unsure you may qualify after reading these requirements, call us at 1-800-772-1213 .
You can apply for SSI benefits by:
Visiting our Apply Online for Disability Benefits website to start the disability application process online. You may be eligible to apply for SSI through the online disability application.
Having someone else call and make the appointment for you or assist you with your application for SSI. For more information, see our chapter on HOW SOMEONE CAN HELP YOU WITH YOUR SSI or
WHEN TO APPLY
Apply as soon as possible so that you do not lose benefits. We cannot pay benefits for time periods earlier than the effective date of your application.
If you call us to make an appointment to apply and you file an application within 60 days, we may use the date of your call as your application filing date.
If you are in a public institution but you will be leaving within a few months, you may not be eligible for SSI until you leave. You may, however, be able to apply before you leave so that SSI benefits can begin quickly after you leave. Check with the institution and contact us about filing an application under the “prerelease procedure.”
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When To Start Receiving Retirement Benefits
A secure comfortable retirement is every worker’s dream. And now because we are living longer healthier lives, we can expect to spend even more time in retirement than our parents and grandparents did. Hi, I am Mike Baksa of the Social Security Administration. As a Social Security representative, I am often asked what is the best age to start receiving retirement benefits? The answer is there really is no one best age for everyone. You can start your Social Security retirement benefits as early as age 62 or as late as age 70. Your monthly benefit amount will be different depending on the age you start receiving it.
If you begin receiving benefits before your full retirement age, you will receive a reduced benefit. You can choose to retire as early as age 62, but doing so will result in lower benefits. On the other hand, starting your benefits after full retirement age may result in larger benefits. With delayed retirement credits you can receive your largest benefit by beginning to receive benefit payments at age 70. If you were born between 1943 and 1954 and are now considering retirement, the reduction for early retirement at age 62 is 25 percent. Then again, delaying benefits until age 70 results in an increase of 32 percent. The increase in full retirement age was the result of the 1983 amendments to the Social Security act by Congress.
Youll Always Be Made Whole
Losing Social Security benefits because you might have to work can be a tough choice to make. But the good news is that ultimately its not an either-or proposition. If you lose Social Security benefits because you are working, they are never actually lost. Rather, they are simply suspended. The SSA will always make you whole for any suspended benefits.
Once you reach full retirement age, the Social Security Administration will recalculate your monthly payout and increase your payments to make up for your deferred benefits.
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Are My Earning Included In The Specific Types Of Earnings List
There are certain types of earning that have different or additional rules. They are:
- Farm Work
- Start And Local Government Employment Wages
- Work Outside the United States
If your work falls under any of the above categories, visit the Social Security website here to learn more about the additional rules and factors of these Specific Earnings.
What Is A Disability
The medical definition of disability, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , is any condition of the mind or body that makes it harder for a person to do major activities and participate in the world around them.
A disability can affect a persons vision, hearing, movement, mental health, cognition , and/or social relationships.
A disability can be related to a variety of conditions, including:
- Congenital conditions present at birth and that continue to affect function as a person ages
- Progressive conditions like muscular dystrophy
- Static conditions, such as limb loss
Many conditions that cause disability are invisible diseasesconditions with symptoms not visible to others. The physical symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, such as joint pain, stiffness, and swelling, and persistent fatigue, are invisible.
The impairments caused by rheumatoid arthritis can be both visible and invisible. Joint damage might be visible and evident in the hands and fingers, for example. But the effect on the quality of life cannot be seen and impacts many areas of a persons life, including their work life, social life, and family life.
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How Many Hours Can You Work And Still Collect Social Security
As the name would imply, Social Security retirement benefits were meant to be paid out to beneficiaries after they stop working.
You can continue to work as long as you want, and you can still collect Social Security benefits. However, you should be aware that continuing to work after claiming Social Security benefits could reduce the amount that you receive, particularly if you have not yet reached full retirement age.