Social Security In Germany
Expats living and working in Germany make regular contributions to the social security system . This comprehensive, collectively-financed system is designed to protect the livelihood of anyone who might require extra support.
As well as a system of compulsory, statutory insurance schemes that cover Germanys residents in the event of sickness, old age or unemployment, there are various benefits and allowances available to help anyone on a low income cover basic living costs.
Title Ii Disability Benefits
This article discusses how work can affect a personâs eligibility for Title II disability benefits, commonly referred to as âSocial Security Disability.â The next Voice article will discuss preserving Medicare and Medicaid benefits when a Title II disability recipient begins to work.
Title II of the Social Security Act provides three types of insurance benefits for individuals with disabilities. Some people receive Title II disability benefits on their own work history . Others receive Title II disability insurance on the account of a deceased spouse or former spouse s Benefits or DWB). Some adult children receive Title II disability benefits on the account of a disabled, retired or deceased parent . In order for a worker, spouse, or child to qualify for Title II disability benefits, the worker on whose account benefits are paid must have paid Social Security taxes on earnings and must have earned the requisite number of work credits. Title II disability benefits are a type of insurance and are not affected by a personâs assets or unearned income.
What Are Social Security Credits
Social security credits are the metric used by the government to determine who qualifies for Social Security. These credits are earned when workers pay into their Social Security tax through qualified wages. These credits will remain in place regardless of work history. Having gaps in employment does not affect the amount of overall Social Security credits that have been accrued.
Find Out What’s Changing In How You Earn Eligibility For Social Security Payments
For millions of Americans, Social Security provides a key source of income. But you don’t automatically qualify to receive Social Security benefits. To make a claim for these benefits on your own record, you need to earn them.
The mechanism by which you qualify for benefits involves earning a certain number of Social Security credits. Many people don’t know anything about the credit requirement, but without enough credits, you won’t be able to get Social Security when the time comes. Below, we’ll look more closely at Social Security credits and the rules in effect for 2020.
How To Check Your Social Security Statement And Why You Should
Modified date: Apr. 19, 2019
If youre investing for your retirement, you shouldnt forget about the income youll earn from Social Security.
Even though it may be decades away, its possible to get an estimate as to what your retirement benefits will be.
All you have to do is get a copy of your Social Security Statement. Its easy to do, and its an absolutely necessary step in planning for your retirement.
You May Like: How To Get Social Security Number Of Deceased Parent
Work Credits For Someone Between Ages 24 And 30
For people that became disabled between the age of 24 to 30 you will have need the work credits equivalent to working for half of the years between the age of 21 and the age that you became disabled. This is a little more complicated so here is an example:
If you are 27 years old, that is 6 years of time that you could have worked after turning 21. You will have needed to earn work credits for half of those years. Therefore a 27 year old will need to have 3 years of work credits to qualify for disability benefits.
Each year you can earn a maximum of 4 work credits. 4 work credits per year for 3 years means that you will need 12 work credits to qualify for disability benefits if you become disabled when you are 27 years old.
Certain Immigrants Over Age 65
Retired people who immigrate to the United States will not have the 40 U.S. work credits that they need to qualify for Social Security benefits. One way to rectify this problem is to earn six work credits in the United States and receive prorated U.S. benefits combined with prorated benefits from their former country under a totalization agreement. This solution makes sense for workers who also do not have enough benefits in their home country to qualify for that countrys equivalent of Social Security payments.
Older immigrants who do not qualify for U.S. Social Security and whose countries laws allow them to receive benefit payments while residing abroad can claim their Social Security or pensioners benefits while living in the U.S.
Create An Online My Social Security Account
One of the best ways to monitor whats going on with your Social Security record is to monitor it directly yourself. You can set up a my Social Security account at ssa.gov. In addition to seeing your entire earnings record, you can use the site to request a replacement Social Security card, check the status of an application, estimate your future benefits or manage any benefits you already receive. You can also verify your correct name and year-by-year earnings record.
Disability Help Group: Winning Case Study
George stopped working in 2013 because he had a car accident. Unfortunately, he was unable to go back to work. He suffered from chronic back pain. George didnt know he could file for Social Security disability benefits when he stopped working. He contacted Disability Help Group for assistance in 2019. At that time, his date last insured had expired in December 2018. George had to go to a disability hearing. We were able to help George provide all of his medical records to the judge since his accident. Therefore, George was able to show that his medical conditions kept him from working before his DLI. He was approved for benefits.
Report The Death Of A Social Security Or Medicare Beneficiary
You must report the death of a family member receiving Social Security or Medicare benefits. The Social Security Administration processes death reports for both. Find out how you can report a death and how to cancel benefit payments. In addition to canceling SSA and Medicare benefits, find out what other benefits and accounts you should cancel.
How Does The Spousal Benefit Work
The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 tightened some of the rules on spousal benefits, eliminating several strategies that couples once used to maximize how much they received. However, spouses can still claim benefits regardless of whether they ever held paid jobs, based on their partners record. To qualify, the spouse with a work record must already be receiving retirement or disability benefits, and the non-working spouse must be at least age 62.
As with other Social Security benefits, spousal benefits are permanently reduced if the nonworking spouse starts to collect before reaching full retirement age. If the non-working spouse waits until full retirement age, then they will receive a spousal benefit of up to 50% of their partners full retirement benefit.
Spouses who are widowed become eligible for 100% of their partners full benefit unless they also had a job and the benefit that theyve earned through their income is higher. Generally, the widowed spouse must be at least 60 years of age to receive benefits from the deceased spouses record, and the amount will be reduced if the surviving spouse elects to receive benefits before their full retirement age.
In addition, should the surviving spouse remarry before age 60, they will forfeit the deceased spouses benefit. In some cases, divorced spouses are also eligible for spousal benefits based on their former partners record.
Recommended Reading: How To Locate Someone By Social Security Number
Your Work History And Work Credits
The Social Security Administration determines whether you have worked enough to qualify for SSDI by converting your earnings into work credits. The dollar amount it takes to earn one work credit is calculated annually. In the year 2021, you must earn $1,470 to get one Social Security work credit, or $5,880 to get the maximum four credits for the year. It doesn’t matter in which quarters you do the work.
How much do you have to pay into Social Security to get disability benefits? As you can see, you need only earn a minimal amount of money to get credit for a year of paying into Social Security, so the question is really about how many years do you have to work to be eligible for disability.
There Are Social Security Benefits For Surviving Spouses And Children
If your spouse dies before you, you can take a Social Security survivor benefit, but not in addition to your own benefit. You must choose one or the other. If you are at full retirement age, that benefit is worth 100% of what your spouse was receiving at the time of his or her death .
A widow or widower can start taking a survivor benefit at age 60, but the benefit will be reduced because it’s taken before full retirement age. If you remarry before age 60, you cannot get a survivor benefit. But if you remarry after age 60, you may be eligible to receive a survivor benefit based on your former spouse’s earnings record.
Eligible children who are under age 18 or were disabled before age 22 can also receive a Social Security survivor benefit, worth up to 75% of the deceased’s benefit.
What Information Is Shown On The Statement
Earnings statements show:
Total earnings credited to your record beginning January 1, 1937, through December 31, 1950
The annual totals of earnings for the years 1951 through two years before the current year
The number of credits you need for insured status
The number of credits you have earned and
Estimates for retirement, disability, family and survivors benefits.
Determining Your Work Credits For Social Security Disability
To be eligible for SSDI, you need to be insured under Social Security. Simply put, you must have worked a certain amount of hours over the years before filing to have contributed a specific amount to the Social Security system. These hours allow you to gain work credits through FICA taxes deducted from your paychecks.
The SSA will determine your eligibility for SSDI by converting your earnings into work credits. To earn one work credit, you must have earned at least $1,220 annually to gain a single work credit for the year. If you wish to earn the maximum of four credits, you need to make at least $4,880 annually. For those who work quarterly, you need not worry, as the work does not have to be done in any specific quarter of the work year.
Most people who are at least somewhat frequently employed will have gained the maximum amount of work credits each year. However, the question remains: how many years worked , do you need to be eligible for disability?
Generally, the older you are, the more work credits you will require to be eligible. Two tests will be applied to your work credit history, the recent work test, and the duration of work test.
Read Also: Silverdale Social Security Office
Working May Affect Your Retirement Benefit
You can work and still receive Social Security retirement benefits, but the income that you earn before you reach full retirement age may affect the amount of benefit that you receive. Here’s how:
- If you’re under full retirement age: $1 in benefits will be deducted for every $2 in earnings you have above the annual limit
- In the year you reach full retirement age: $1 in benefits will be deducted for every $3 you earn over the annual limit until the month you reach full retirement age
Once you reach full retirement age, you can work and earn as much income as you want without reducing your Social Security retirement benefit. And keep in mind that if some of your benefits are withheld prior to your full retirement age, you’ll generally receive a higher monthly benefit at full retirement age, because after retirement age the SSA recalculates your benefit every year and gives you credit for those withheld earnings
How To Calculate Social Security Benefits In Excel
If you are in your late 50s and approaching retirement, you can create a useful model of your future benefits. It works best to do this in a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet, as follows:
- Using a recent Social Security statement, list in spreadsheet column A your taxable Social Security earnings year by year.
- List in column B the most recently published NAWI adjustment factors as published by the SSA.
- Multiply columns A and B and output the result to column C.
- Identify in column D the 35 highest values in column C. Add these together and divide the sum by 420 . This will approximate your AIME.
- Use the most recently published bend points to convert your AIME into a PIA.
You also can fill in hypothetical values for estimated taxable Social Security earnings in future years until you plan to stop working. To be conservative, use a NAWI adjustment factor of 1.0 in column B for all future years.
A financial advisor who fully understands this process can be helpful in verifying your calculations, advising you on when to start Social Security benefits, and estimating the future benefits you can expect to receive.
Recommended Reading: How Much Tax Will I Pay On Social Security
How Does The Social Security Administration Calculate Benefits
Benefits also depend on how much money youâve earned in life. The Social Security Administration takes your highest-earning 35 years of covered wages and averages them, indexing for inflation. They give you a big fat âzeroâ for each year you donât have earnings, so people who worked for fewer than 35 years may see lower benefits.
The Social Security Administration also makes annual Cost of Living Adjustments, even as you collect benefits. That means the retirement income you collect from Social Security has built-in protection against inflation. For many people, Social Security is the only form of retirement income they have that is directly linked to inflation. Itâs a big perk that doesnât get a lot of attention.
Do My Social Security Disability Work Credits Expire
Additionally, in order to be eligible for Social Security disability benefits, you must meet a recent work test. After you stop working, you do not have an indefinite time to file for disability benefits. Like other insurance program, your coverage ends after a certain amount of time from when you stop working. How Can I Check My Social Security Disability Credits?
Also Check: How To Update Address With Social Security
What Is A Social Security Card
Your Social Security card is an important piece of identification. You’ll need one to get a job, collect Social Security, or receive other government benefits.
When you apply for a Social Security number , the Social Security Administration will assign you a nine-digit number. This is the same number that is printed on the Social Security card that SSA will issue you. If you change your name, you will need to get a corrected card.
How To Check Your Social Security Earnings Statement
Checking your record of earnings with the SSA is easy. If youre 18 or over, you can create an account with www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount. Youll need a few pieces of identifying information, including:
- Your email address
- Your Social Security number
- Your mailing address in the United States
Next, log into the account youve created and click the option on the main page to View earnings record.
Image source: Social Security.
When you choose to view your record, youll see a table showing the work year, amount of taxed Social Security earnings, and amount of taxed Medicare earnings for each year you had countable income.
There are different columns for Social Security and Medicare earnings because you pay Medicare taxes on the entire amount of money you earn, but you pay Social Security tax only on income up to the annual wage base limit. This limit changes annually and, when benefits are calculated, only income up to the taxable limit is factored in. The limit is pretty high its $137,700 in 2020 and unless your income exceeds it, the earnings in both columns should be the same.
What Else Affects Your Retirement Benefits
Everyones retirement is unique. Beyond deciding when to begin receiving retirement benefits, other factors that can affect your benefits include whether you continue to work, what type of job you had, and if you have a pension from certain jobs.
Continuing To Work
You can choose to keep working beyond your full retirement age. If you do, you can increase your future Social Security benefits. Each extra year you work adds another year of earnings to your Social Security record. Higher lifetime earnings can mean higher benefits when you choose to receive benefits.
Specific Types Of Earnings
While Social Security earnings are calculated the same way for most American workers, there are some types of earnings that have additional rules.
Earning types with special rules include:
Pensions And Other Factors
Pensions and taxes have the potential to impact your retirement benefit. Review the resources below on pensions and other factors you should consider:
- Windfall Elimination Provision : If you have a pension from a job for which you didnt pay Social Security taxes, this policy may lower your retirement benefits.
- Government Pension Offset : This policy affects benefits as a spouse, widow, or widower if you have a pension from a government job for which you didnt pay Social Security taxes.
- Income Taxes And Your Social Security Benefits: You might have to pay federal income taxes on your Social Security benefits in certain situations.