Monday, May 16, 2022

How Can I Claim Social Security Benefits

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But Social Security Benefits Are Pretty Portable

ð´Can I Claim Ex-Spousal Social Security at 62 & Later Get My Full Retirement

All Social Security recipients are now required to accept their benefits electronically, which is quite a boon to retirees living abroad. This means you can either have your benefits directly deposited into a foreign bank account based in your new home, or you can have the money deposited into an American bank account that you have maintained while abroad.

Some countries require foreign residents to open a local bank account and have a regular direct deposit into that account. Social Security benefits offer an ideal method for fulfilling this obligation.

If you live in a country without such a requirement, you may choose to simply maintain your U.S. based bank, in part because many retirement destinations are all about paying in cash. Everyone from utility providers to grocers to dentists only accept cash, which makes maintaining your home bank much simpler. As long as you can withdraw funds from an ATM or banking office in your new home, there’s no need to set up a new bank account or have your Social Security benefits routed elsewhere.

Benefits For Your Family

If youre getting Social Security retirement benefits, some members of your family may also qualify to receive benefits on your record. If they qualify, your ex-spouse, spouse, or child may receive a monthly payment of up to one-half of your retirement benefit amount. These Social Security payments to family members will not decrease the amount of your retirement benefit.

How Your Social Security Benefits Are Calculated

Your Social Security benefits are based on the 35 calendar years in which you earned the most money. If you have fewer than 35 years of earnings, each year with no earnings will be factored in at zero. You can increase your Social Security benefit at any time by replacing a zero or low-income year with a higher-income year.

There is a maximum Social Security benefit amount you can receive, though it depends on the age you retire. For someone at full retirement age in 2021, the maximum monthly benefit is $3,113. For someone filing at age 70, the maximum monthly amount is $3,895.

You can estimate your own benefit by using Social Security’s online Retirement Estimator.

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Getting A Social Security Number For A New Baby

The easiest way to get a Social Security number for your child is at the hospital after they are born when you apply for your childs birth certificate. If you wait to apply for a number at a Social Security office, there may be delays while SSA verifies your childs birth certificate.

Your child will need their own Social Security number so you can:

  • Claim your child as a dependent on your income tax return
  • Open a bank account in their name
  • Get medical coverage for them
  • Apply for government services for them

Keep your Social Security card in a safe place to protect yourself from identity theft.

How To Calculate Social Security Benefits

When to file for Social Security retirement benefits early

Lets say your FRA is 66. If you start claiming benefits at age 66 and your full monthly benefit is $2,000, then youll get $2,000 per month. If you start claiming benefits at age 62, which is 48 months early, then your benefit will be reduced to 75% of your full monthly benefitalso called your primary insurance amount. In other words, youll get 25% less per month, and your check will be $1,500.

That reduced benefit wont increase once you reach age 66. Rather, youll continue to receive it for the rest of your life. It may go up over time due to cost-of-living adjustments , but only slightly. You can do the math for your own situation using the Social Security Administration Early or Late Retirement Calculator, one of a number of benefit calculators provided by the SSA that can also help you determine your FRA, the SSAs estimate of your life expectancy for benefit calculations, rough estimates of your retirement benefits, individualized projections of your benefits based on your personal work record, and more.

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Benefits For Your Divorced Spouse

If you are divorced, your ex-spouse can receive benefits based on your record if:

  • Your marriage lasted 10 years or longer.
  • Your ex-spouse is unmarried.
  • Your ex-spouse is age 62 or older.
  • The benefit that your ex-spouse is entitled to receive based on their own work is less than the benefit they would receive based on your work.
  • You are entitled to Social Security retirement or disability benefits.

Invalidity Benefits In France

This covers loss of earnings due to non-work-related illness or accident. You may claimed it if you cannot earn at least one-third of your wage earned before the disability.

You must have been registered with the health scheme for at least 12 months prior to stopping work through disability, and worked for at least 800 hours or paid contributions on wages equal to 2,030 times the minimum hourly wage.

How much disability pension you get depends on the level of inability to work, however the maximum amount of the lowest level of pension is 30% of the social security ceiling .

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Different Rules For Survivor Benefits

The rule about not switching benefits does not apply to Social Security survivor benefits, which divorced spouses may be eligible for if their former partner is deceased. Divorced spouses can file for survivor benefits as early as age 60 and switch over to their own benefit as early as age 62. They also have the option of filing for their own benefit first, as early as age 62, then filing for survivor benefits when they reach their FRA if that will result in a higher benefit.

Divorced spouses who are caring for their deceased spouses natural or legally adopted child who is younger than age 16or disabled and entitled to benefitscan apply at any age. In this case, the rule that the couple must have been married for at least 10 years is also waived. However, the benefits will last only until the child reaches age 16 or is no longer disabled.

If You’re Not Sure Why You Received A Payment

Best Time To Claim Social Security Benefits

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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What Happens If You Claim After Your Fra

If you wait until youre age 70 to start claiming benefits, then youll get an extra 8% per yearor, in total, 132% of your primary insurance amount for the rest of your life. Claiming after you turn 70 doesnt increase your benefits further, so theres no reason to wait longer than that.

The longer you can afford to wait after age 62 , the larger your monthly benefit will be. Nevertheless, delaying benefits doesnt necessarily mean that youll come out ahead overall. You also need to weigh in some other factors, including your expected longevity and whether you plan to file for spousal benefits. You will also need to consider the tax, investment opportunity, and health coverage implications.

Full Retirement Age: Age 6567 Depending On Date Of Birth

Your full retirement age is determined by your day and year of birth, and it is the age in which you get your full amount of Social Security benefits. For every year you delay taking your benefits from full retirement age up until you turn 70, your benefit amount will increase by almost 8% a year. It is referred to as a delayed retirement credit. This increase can result in more lifetime income for you and your spouse. Even after factoring in a potential return on investment and the monthly benefits you could have received if you claimed early, there can still be a $50,000$100,000 increase in lifetime benefits by waiting until you are older.

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How Much Will Your Divorced Spouse Receive

If you have not applied for retirement benefits, but can qualify for them, your ex-spouse can receive benefits on your record if you have been divorced for at least two continuous years.

If your ex-spouse is eligible for retirement benefits on their own record, we will pay that amount first. If the benefit on your record is higher, they will get an additional amount on your record so that the combination of benefits equals that higher amount.

If your ex-spouse was born before January 2, 1954, and has already reached full retirement age, they can choose to receive only the divorced spouses benefit and delay receiving their own retirement benefit until a later date.

If your ex-spouses birthday is January 2, 1954 or later, the option to take only one benefit at full retirement age no longer exists. If your ex-spouse files for one benefit, they will be effectively filing for all retirement or spousal benefits.

Strategies For Claiming A Spousal Benefit

When do people claim Social Security?

Social Security offers quite a few options for how to claim your benefits, and while the options are meant to give flexibility to retirees and others, they do create more complexity. Everyone wants to get all the benefits theyre entitled to, and this complexity might obscure an avenue to receiving more money from the program. Spouses have a few ways to proceed here, and the best course of action often depends on your personal financial situation.

For those looking to max out their spousal benefit, one course of action is obvious.

The best strategy to claim Social Security retirement benefits as a spouse is to wait until you reach normal retirement age, 65 to 67, depending on birth year, says Lindsay Malzone, a Medicare expert at website MedicareFAQ. Unless you currently care for a qualifying child, you will receive a reduced benefit if you have not yet attained normal retirement age.

But there are exceptions to this general rule, especially if you believe your longevity is an issue.

The spousal benefit may also offer some flexibility for older filers. For example, a spouse may be able to claim spousal benefits on a workers account and then later claim benefits on his or her account. If your spouse was born before Jan. 2, 1954 and has already reached full retirement age, your spouse can receive the spousal benefit and delay receiving their own retirement benefit until later. If your spouse was born after this date, this option no longer exists.

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The Longer You Wait To File The More Youll Receive

You can file for benefits at age 62, and many people do. But keep in mind that your benefits could be permanently reduced by up to 30%, depending on your full retirement age. If you delay your benefits beyond full retirement age, youll receive a delayed retirement credit of 8% per year . Your benefits wont continue to grow, though, once you turn 70.

What About Unmarried Children

An unmarried child of the deceased may be able to receive benefits if one of the following applies:

  • They are younger than 18 years of age or, they are up to age 19, if they are a full-time student in an elementary or secondary school.
  • They are age 18 or older with a disability that began before the age of 22.

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How Are Spousal Benefits Calculated For Social Security

The amount of your spousal benefit depends on 1) your spouses earnings history and 2) how old you are when you claim your benefits. If you claim benefits before your full retirement age , your benefits will be permanently reduced based on the number of months until you reach that age. However, your benefit does not depend on when your spouse claims.

Heres what you need to know about how the Social Security Administration calculates spousal benefits

1. First, the Social Security Administration calculates the benefits owed on your own earnings record . Typically, that means youve paid into Social Security for at least 10 years over the course of your life.

2. Next, the SSA calculates 50% of your spouses PIA. That 50% is the most you could be eligible forbut as with earned benefits, youll receive less if you claim before your full retirement age.

3. If you claim benefits before your Full Retirement Age, they will reduce your spousal benefits. You are eligible to begin retirement and spousal benefits starting at age 62. However, spousal benefits are reduced by 25/36 of 1% for each month before your full retirement age, up to 36 months early. Benefits that are taken more than 36 months early are reduced an additional 5/12 of 1%. Claiming early permanently reduces your benefits.

The many rules can feel confusing, and the best way to calculate your own benefit is to use a Social Security benefits calculator.

Social Security Disability Benefits

Best Age to Claim Social Security?

The definition of disabled held by the SSA is quite strict. You only qualify for Social Security disability benefits if you are severely disabled with a condition that entirely prevents your workingand is expected to last a year or longer or result in your death.

You also must have earned enough credits to receive payments. If you are at least age 62, you will need to have earned the full 40 credits to qualify for disability payments. Younger applicants require fewer credits, down to a minimum of six credits for those younger than 24. You also need to have been working when the disability began. Your spouse and children may qualify for benefits as well, potentially receiving up to half of the amount to which you are entitled each month.

If approved, then your disability benefits will begin six months after the date when your disability began. Payments are based on your lifetime earnings.

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Employees And Social Security In France

Most employees receive coverage for sickness, maternity, paternity, and family benefits under the compulsory general scheme. Financing for this comes mainly from contributions and tax deductions from earnings. Employees and employers share the burden for these costs and a network of government organizations manages them. The general scheme basic pension also receives supplements from other pension schemes. All wage earners also receive coverage from an unemployment scheme that employers and representatives of employees manage. If you are an employee, your employer also arranges for you to join the social security, unemployment, and supplementary pension schemes.

Qualifying For Social Security From Your Exs Benefits

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A recent email raised a question that Im sure is prominent in many minds: How can I claim Social Security benefits off my ex-spouses earnings record? And how do I find out how much Im eligible for from the ex?

Spousal benefits are an important part of Social Security retirement benefits. A spousal benefit is available to provide for a spouse who has a lower benefit due to a lower earnings record over his or her lifetime.

Quite often, there is a division of labor among a married couple, where one works full time throughout his or her career, and the other either works in the home, perhaps caring for children, or works part time or sporadically outside the home throughout his or her working years. This situation can result with one member of the couple having a much higher lifetime earnings record than the other, which then leads to a much higher Social Security benefit versus the member of the couple with the lower earnings record.

However, in the case of a divorced couple , this can be a bit more complicated.

Readers, do you have a Social Security question? Email us at .

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Can You Still Work While Receiving Social Security

You can continue to work while you receive Social Security benefits. But there is a limit to how much you can earn and still receive full benefits. The earning limit may be adjusted each year.

If you earn above the limit, Social Security will deduct a certain amount of your benefits each year.

Social Security Benefits, Earning Limits and Penalties

SSA deducts $1 from your benefits for every $3 you earn above the limit

Earn Ssa Work Credits In Some Countries

How Divorce Can Affect Your Social Security

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.

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