How Do I Find Out When I Get My First Social Security Check
Your birthday generally determines your monthly payment schedule:
Is It Better To Take Ss At 66 Or 70
As you undoubtedly already are well aware, most financial planners recommend thatso long as you can afford to do soyou should wait until age 70 to begin receiving your Social Security benefits. Your monthly payment in such an event will be 32% higher than if you begin receiving benefits at age 66.
Fact #: Social Security Benefits Are Modest
Social Security benefits are much more modest than many people realize the average Social Security retirement benefit in June 2020 was about $1,514 a month, or about $18,170 a year. For someone who worked all of their adult life at average earnings and retires at age 65 in 2020, Social Security benefits replace about 40 percent of past earnings. This replacement rate will slip to about 35 percent for a medium earner retiring at 65 in the future, chiefly because the full retirement age, which has already risen to 66, and is gradually climbing to 67 over the 2017-2022 period.
The average Social Security retirement benefit in June 2020 was $1,514 a month, or about $18,170 a year.
Moreover, most retirees enroll in Medicares Supplementary Medical Insurance and have Part B premiums deducted from their Social Security checks. As health care costs continue to outpace general inflation, those premiums will take a bigger bite out of their checks.
Social Security benefits are modest by international standards, too. The United States ranks just outside the bottom third of developed countries in the percentage of an average workers earnings replaced by the public pension system.
Social Security lifted 1.5 million children out of poverty in 2018, as the chart shows.
Fact #: Most Elderly Beneficiaries Rely On Social Security For The Majority Of Their Income
Social Security provides the majority of income to most elderly Americans. For about half of seniors, it provides at least 50 percent of their income, and for about 1 in 4 seniors, it provides at least 90 percent of income, across multiple surveys and the study that matches survey and administrative data.
Use Your Social Security Checks To Cover Healthcare Expenses
After budgeting to cover your basic needs, you should next pay for your medical expenses. Let’s assume that you’ll spend close to the national healthcare cost average for Americans 65 and older, which the BLS estimates at $6,833 per year. If you spend close to this amount, it’s wise to dedicate the remainder of your check toward this expense. But it’s also important to plan for rising healthcare costs that your Social Security checks likely won’t cover.
The 2021 Retirement Health Care Costs Report by HealthView Insights recently reported that a healthy, national average couple, 65 or older, paid an average of $662,156 on retirement health care in 2020. Most 65-year-old couples in 2021 can spent between $156,208 and 1,022,997 on heath care depending on the state they retired in and the type of health care they needed.
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How Can I Track My Unemployment Debit Card In The Mail
Your states unemployment website will inform you of when you can expect to receive your debit card. This can take a few weeks after you file your claim, so its a good idea to be careful with your budget until your card arrives. States typically use standard mail to send your card, so no tracking is available.
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Claiming Social Security Benefits At The Right Time Means More Money In Your Pocket Here’s A Guide To Everything From Knowing Your Full Retirement Age To Taking Social Security Spousal Benefits
For many Americans, Social Security benefits are the bedrock of retirement income so maximizing this stream of income is critical.
The rules for claiming Social Security benefits can be complex, but this guide will help you successfully navigate the details. Educating yourself can ensure that you claim the maximum amount to which you are entitled.
Here are 12 essential details you need to know.
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Don’t Forget To Claim For Your Children
If you claim retirement, disability or survivors benefits and have dependent children, you can file a claim for them as well. A qualifying child can receive up to 50% of a parent’s full retirement or disability benefit, and up to 75% of a deceased parent’s benefit. However, there’s a limit to the amount of money that can be paid to a family, with the maximum amount determined as part of every Social Security benefit computation.
To qualify, a child must be either younger than age 18, age 18-19 and a full-time student in grade 12 or lower, or 18 or older with a disability that began before age 18. Although this is not technically your Social Security benefit, it’s still an SSA payment that can help your family make ends meet.
You May Be Missing Documents In Your Application
While every state has individual documentation requirements, most applicants are generally required to submit their Social Security number, drivers license, information about their employer, reason for leaving, first and last day worked, among other questions.
If youre missing any of these documents or forgot to include something with your application that your individual state specifically requests, it might be holding up your claims.
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Is Social Security Disability Considered Income
If youre disabled, you may receive Social Security benefits in the form of payments every month. While the answer is NO, disability benefits are not considered earned income, its important to know the difference between earned and unearned income and know where your benefits fit in during tax season.
How Can I Check The Status Of My Social Security Disability Application
Social Security Disability applications take time to be processed and must pass through various screening processes before a decision on the disability claim is made. Checking your Social Security application status is an easy way to stay on top of your Social Security application to make sure there is no missing information slowing down your Social Security disability application.
Once you submit your disability claim, it goes to a local office where it is processed and evaluated. Part of this evaluation involves gathering your medical records and other relevant information regarding your claim. As a general rule of thumb, it takes about a months time before all of the required information is on file with the Social Security Administration . When you are waiting to hear back from decision from the SSA regarding you claim, there could be signs you will be approved for disability, which include: earning less than the SGA and having an ample amount of work credits and medical records to back up your claim.
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Your Personal Mysocial Security Account Is For Your Use Only
Social Security is dedicated to protecting the information and resources entrusted to us, including your personal information and investment. For your protection, youre the only one who can create your personal mySocial Security account for your own exclusive use. No one can create or use an account on your behalf, even with written permission. Dont share the use of your account with anyone else under any circumstances, as unauthorized use of this service is a misrepresentation of your identity to the federal government and could subject you to criminal or civil penalties, or both.
Fact #: Social Security Provides A Foundation Of Retirement Protection For Nearly Every American And Its Benefits Are Not Means
97% of the elderly either receive Social Security or will receive it.
Almost all workers participate in Social Security by making payroll tax contributions, and almost all elderly Americans receive Social Security benefits. In fact, 97 percent of the elderly either receive Social Security or will receive it, according to Social Security Administration estimates. The near-universality of Social Security brings many important advantages.
Social Security provides a foundation of retirement protection for people at all earnings levels. It encourages private pensions and personal saving because it isnt means-tested in other words, it doesnt reduce or deny benefits to people whose income or assets exceed a certain level. Social Security provides a higher annual payout than private retirement annuities per dollar contributed because its risk pool is not limited to those who expect to live a long time, no funds leak out in lump-sum payments or bequests, and its administrative costs are much lower.
Indeed, universal participation and the absence of means-testing make Social Security very efficient to administer. Administrative costs amount to only 0.6 percent of annual benefits, far below the percentages for private retirement annuities. Means-testing Social Security would impose significant reporting and processing burdens on both recipients and administrators, undercutting many of those advantages while yielding little savings.
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Policy Basics: Top Ten Facts About Social Security
Social Security provides a foundation of income on which workers can build to plan for their retirement. It also provides valuable social insurance protection to workers who become disabled and to families whose breadwinner dies.
Eighty-five years after President Franklin Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act on August 14, 1935, Social Security remains one of the nations most successful, effective, and popular programs.
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 1.0000 in column B for all future years.
A financial advisor who fully understands this process can help verify your calculations, advise you on when to start Social Security benefits, and estimate the future benefits you can expect to receive.
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This Is How Social Security Benefits Are Handled At Death
- Using someone else’s Social Security benefits after they die is a federal crime.
- Funeral homes often alert the government when someone passes away.
- Depending on the situation, survivors benefits may be available.
There is a lot to deal with when a loved one passes away.
On top of the emotional aspect of handling death, there is the financial stuff which would include any Social Security benefits the deceased was receiving.
You may wonder how the government knows to stop sending that monthly money or whether a surviving spouse or dependent can keep some sort of payment going.
Social Security rules can be complicated. Yet the bottom line is that the decedent’s benefits stop at death. For survivors, how to get benefits or whether you qualify depends on several factors .
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First, though, it’s important for the Social Security Administration to be alerted as soon as possible after the person dies.
In most cases, funeral homes notify the government. There’s a form available that those businesses use to report the death.
“The person serving as executor or the surviving spouse can also call Social Security,” said certified financial planner Peggy Sherman, a lead advisor at Briaud Financial Advisors in College Station, Texas.
There are a couple of things to keep in mind. For starters, a person is due no Social Security benefits for the month of their death.
Disability And Survivor Benefits
In addition to retirement benefit eligibility, the statement also provides estimates as to what your monthly income would be if you claimed disability benefits.
There are also estimates for how much monthly income through survivor benefits your eligible spouse or minor children may receive if you pass away.
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Social Security Bend Points
The Social Security benefits formula is designed to replace a higher proportion of income for low-income earners than for high-income earners. To do that, the formula uses what are called bend points.” These bend points are adjusted for inflation each year.
Bend points from the year you turn 62 are used to calculate your Social Security retirement benefits. The example in the table below uses 2020 bend points. It works like this:
- You take 90% of the first $906 of AIME.
- You take 32% of the next $5,785 of AIME.
- You take 15% of any amount over that $5,785.
- You total those three numbers.
The result is your primary insurance amount, or PIA, the amount you will receive if you begin benefits at your Full Retirement Age .
Your PIA is rounded to the next lowest dime, and your benefit amount is rounded to the next lowest dollar.
Technically, your PIA is calculated, rounded to the next lowest dime, and then any inflation adjustments are applied. That number is then rounded to the next lowest dime. Then any increase or decrease based on age is applied. That number is then rounded down to the next lowest dollar.
You can see current and historical bend points and the current year’s bend points on the Bend Formula Bend Points page of the Social Security Administration’s website.
In the example in the table below, you can see how the AIME calculated in the previous step was plugged into the bend point formula to calculate the PIA.
Lost Or Stolen Federal Payments
Report your lost, missing, or stolen federal check to the agency that issued the payment. It’s usually one of these paying agencies. If your documentation indicates it’s a different agency, and you need its contact information, look in the A-Z Index of U.S. Government Departments and Agencies.
To get an update on your claim, contact the Treasury Department Philadelphia Financial Center at 1-855-868-0151, option 1.
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How Do You Apply For Social Security Benefits
If you are eligible for Social Security benefits, you can apply online, by phone or by appointment at a local Social Security office.
How to Apply for Social Security Benefits
- Applying online is the easiest way to apply for Social Security benefits. The Social Security website allows you to apply for retirement, spouses, Medicare and disability benefits at the same site. You can also apply for Supplemental Security Income benefits.
- If you dont have Internet access, you can sign up by phone. You can call the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213 .
- The Social Security Administration has restrictions on office visits during the COVID-19 pandemic. It does allow in-person visits for certain services. You should check with the SSAs Coronavirus page to see if you can make an in-person appointment at your local office.
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|
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Do You Have A Security Freeze Or Fraud Alert On Your Credit Report
If you have a security freeze, fraud alert, or both on your credit report, you can still open a mySocial Security account by temporarily lifting it.
If you dont want to temporarily lift your security freeze or fraud alert, you can visit your local Social Security office to open an account in person. For more information on security freezes and fraud alerts, read the Federal Trade Commissions .
Using Your Benefit Estimates
As your statement will show, your Social Security retirement benefits will vary depending on when you claim them before or after your full retirement age . The longer you wait to start receiving payments, the higher your benefit amount will be.
However, it’s not always better to wait until your full retirement age to claim your Social Security benefits. If you need your Social Security benefits for living expenses, or you have a health condition that makes it unlikely that you will live past age 75 or so, you may be better off collecting your benefits sooner rather than later. You can use a calculator at the Social Security website to see which retirement age makes the most financial sense for you .
For comprehensive practical information about how and when to claim Social Security benefits, see Social Security, Medicare & Government Pensions, by Joseph Matthews with Dorothy Matthews Berman .
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