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How Do I Qualify For Social Security

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How Cpp And Social Security Integrate

How to Apply for Social Security Disability

by | Sep 24, 2018

If youve worked in both the USA and Canada, you have likely contributed to both the USAs Social Security program and the Canada Pension Plan . How will CPP benefits impact your Social Security benefits? How will your US residency impact your CPP and Old Age Security benefits? Do these things even speak to each other?

Luckily for you, in 1984 the US and Canada came to an agreement called the Totalization Agreement. This was created with the intention of protecting the benefits of people who have contributed to government pension plans on both sides of the 49th parallel.

Contributions While Youre Working

If your work is covered by the retirement benefits programs of both the US and Canada, this agreement allows you to contribute to just one of those programs. This is key, as prior to the agreement you would have contributed to both. This might come into play if youre a US citizen who has been sent by your US employer to work with a Canadian affiliate but note that this exception is in place for a period of only five years.

If youre self-employed, you will contribute only to the pension plan of the country where you live.

Eligibility for Retirement Benefits

If you have contributed in both countries, you may be eligible for benefits in one or both countries. If you dont meet the basic requirements from one country, you may be able to qualify by applying your credits earned in another country.

U.S. Social Security

Canada Pension Plan

What to do now?

Special Rules For People Who Are Blind Or Have Low Vision

We consider you to be legally blind under Social Security rules if your vision cannot be corrected to better than 20/200 in your better eye or if your visual field is 20 degrees or less, even with a corrective lens. Many people who meet the legal definition of blindness still have some sight and may be able to read large print and get around without a cane or a guide dog.

If you do not meet the legal definition of blindness, you may still qualify for disability benefits if your vision problems alone or combined with other health problems prevent you from working.

There are a number of special rules for people who are blind that recognize the severe impact of blindness on a person’s ability to work. For example, the monthly earnings limit for people who are blind is generally higher than the limit that applies to non-blind disabled workers.

In 2021, the monthly earnings limit is $2,190.

Is My Spouse Eligible To Receive Social Security Spousal Benefits

Spouses are eligible to receive 50 percent of their spouses full retirement benefit if they wait until they reach full retirement age. If they apply for a spousal retirement benefit before that time, the amount is pro-rated, depending on the age at which the spouse applies. For example:

If a spouse applies for a spousal retirement benefit at age 62 and the full retirement benefit is age 67, the applicant will get 32.5 percent of the spousal benefit.

If a spouse applies for a spousal retirement benefit at age 62 and the full retirement benefit is age 65, the applicant will get 37.5 percent of the spousal benefit.

The benefit increases as ages go up, to a maximum of 50 percent at full retirement age. It should also be noted that only one spouse can apply for a spouses benefit when a couple is married.

In cases of divorce, the divorced spouse can get retirement benefits on the spouses record if the marriage lasted for at least 10 years. To collect this benefit, the spouse must be at least 62 years old and not married. That benefit does not impact the amount a spouse and their current married partner can get.

Recommended Reading: How Much Can I Earn While On Social Security Disability In 2019

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.

Proving You Meet The Medical Social Security Disability Requirements

Do I Qualify For Social Security Disability Benefits If I ...

In order to qualify you will need medical information presented to the Social Security Administration as well as informing your physicians and facilities that the SSA will be contacting them. To prove your SSDI eligibility, the SSA will want all medical records that pertain to your condition, including physicians sessions notes, visits to specialists, hospitals, labs, clinics, and all other providers including mental health providers if applicable. You should make available to the Social Security Administration the following information as well:

  • Basic information on all the doctors who have treated the condition you are applying for. This would include their name, location, phone.
  • If you know them the dates you were seen in doctors offices, clinics or hospitals.
  • Medical tests what did you have, when did you have them, where did you have them and who ordered them.
  • About The Author

    Susan Dover

    Susan is one of the leading Social Security experts in the country. She is driven by a passion for helping people access the benefits that they have earned.

    Also Check: When Should You Apply For 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 Credits Are Earned

    Since 1978, when you work and pay Social Security taxes, you earn up to a maximum of four credits per year.

    The amount of earnings it takes to earn a credit may change each year. In 2021, you earn one Social Security or Medicare credit for every $1,470 in covered earnings each year. You must earn $5,880 to get the maximum four credits for the year.

    During your lifetime, you might earn more credits than the minimum number you need to be eligible for benefits. These extra credits do not increase your benefit amount. The average of your earnings over your working years, not the total number of credits you earn, determines how much your monthly payment will be when you receive benefits.

    Read our publication, “How You Earn Credits,” for more information.

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    Schedule A Free Consultation With Our Attorneys Today

    Dont tackle this complicated process on your own. Many individuals who go through it alone have their claims denied and then give up even though they have a legitimate SSDI claim.

    Are you asking yourself, How do I qualify? The experienced attorneys at Erwin, McCane & Daly offer a free initial consultation. Call or schedule a free initial consultation below..

    In a Social Security case, a lawyer is not entitled to collect a fee unless the client is awarded benefits. Fees are regulated by Social Security and prior approval is required before an attorney can collect a fee. Generally, Social Security will approve a fee of 25 percent of past due benefits capped at certain amount.

    When Can You File For Social Security

    How Do I Apply For My Social Security Retirement Benefits Online – Documents Needed To Apply For SSI

    The earliest when you can apply for Social Security benefits is at age 61 and nine months, and you can expect to receive your first payment four months laterthe month after your birthday. Typically, Social Security benefits are paid the month after they are due or must be specified. For example, the Social Security website states that an individual who wants their benefits to start in May will receive their first benefit check in June.

    For example, if you turn 62 on Dec. 15, then your first full month of eligibility is January, and your payment for that month will arrive in February. If you have already reached age 62 and met all other eligibility criteria, then you may begin collecting benefits in the same month when you apply if you specify, although your first payment still would not arrive until the following month.

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    What Does It Take To Qualify For Social Security Spousal Benefits

    Unlike most rules related to Social Security, the rules for the spousal benefit entitlement are pretty straightforward and easy to understand.

    If youve been married to your current spouse for at least one year, youre eligible for a spousal benefit under their work record.

    Pretty simple, right?

    You may also qualify for the spousal benefit If youre divorced but the marriage lasted for at least 10 years and youre not currently married.

    National Defence And Veterans Affairs Canada

    If the deceased person was a serving or a former member of the Canadian Armed Forces, follow these guidelines:

    Serving Canadian Armed Force member

    Inform the chain of command of the members unit, squadron or ship. A member of the unit will assist you during this difficult period.

    Former Canadian Armed Force member / Veteran

    Inform the Government of Canada Pension Centre if the deceased person was a Canadian Armed Forces Pension Plan member or a pension recipient.

    Inform Veterans Affairs Canada if the Veteran was receiving services or benefits.

    Consult Veterans Affairs Canada information on Death and bereavement.

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    Social Security Death Index

    Social Security collects death information to administer their programs this death information is compiled into the Death Master File , Social Securitys electronic database. The DMF was created in 1980 and contains records of people with Social Security numbers that have been reported dead from 1962 onward. Two versions of the DMF are prepared. The first is the full file, containing all death records, including those received from the States. This file is shared only with certain Federal and State agencies. The second is the public file, known as the Social Security Death Index.

    The Social Security Death Index contains death records extracted from the Social Security database, excluding data received from the States. The records in the index each have a set of information that includes a full name, birth year and date, death year and date, and Social Security number and place of issue.

    The Social Security Death Index is a helpful tool in preventing identity fraud, verifying death, and doing genealogy work. It is used by leading government agencies, medical researchers, genealogists, biographers, and investigative firms. You can access some of these records through online sites such as FamilySearch.

    How Does A Person Qualify For Ssi

    Do I Qualify For Social Security Disability Benefits If I ...

    In addition to meeting the disability criteria , an SSI enrollee must meet several non-medical criteria, including having a low income. SSA has complex rules for determining financial eligibility. In general, income is anything received in cash, earned or unearned, that can be used to meet a persons need for food or shelter.17 Income is countable except for some limited amounts that are disregarded.18 Income also includes in kind support, such as any food or shelter provided or paid by another person. In kind support generally is valued at one-third of the maximum federal benefit amount.19 SSA also deems a portion of income from a persons spouse or parent/step-parent as countable income.20 To financially qualify for SSI, a persons countable income cannot exceed the maximum federal benefit rate , and the amount of SSI that a person actually receives is the maximum federal rate reduced by the amount of their countable income.21 These rules apply to SSI enrollees of all ages.

    Figure 4: SSI Disability Determination Process for Adults

    Figure 5: Disability and SSI Status of Nonelderly Adults with Medicaid, 2019

    Figure 6: SSI Application Allowance Rate for Medical Decisions by Adjudicative Level, 2018

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    How To Apply For Spousal Social Security Benefits

    This article was written by Jennifer Mueller, JD. Jennifer Mueller is an in-house legal expert at wikiHow. Jennifer reviews, fact-checks, and evaluates wikiHow’s legal content to ensure thoroughness and accuracy. She received her JD from Indiana University Maurer School of Law in 2006.There are 10 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 22,442 times.

    If you are married or divorced and nearing retirement age, you may be eligible for spousal Social Security benefits. Spousal benefits allow you to get up to 50 percent of the total benefits your spouse is eligible for without taking away from their benefits. If you’re eligible for your own retirement benefits, you’ll get those first. However, if your spouse was in the workforce longer than you or made more money, spousal benefits could add to the overall benefits you receive. You apply for spousal Social Security benefits the same way you claim your own retirement benefits.XResearch source

    Calculate The Best Time To Start Social Security

    If you are confused about when to start, you can use the Social Security Explorer part of the NewRetirement Retirement Planner to compare your monthly income and maximum lifetime payout at different ages.

    Or, you might consider the following rules of thumb:

    • Take Early: The only people who should consider taking their Social Security early are those who absolutely need the money immediately, or those who do not expect to live for very long, due to illness
    • Take at Full Retirement Age: Should you have reason to believe that you will not live past the age of 80, then generally speaking you will maximize your social security benefits if you take them when you reach your Full Retirement Age.
    • Wait as Long as Possible: On the other hand, if you are confident that you will live past the age of 80 or 85, then most experts recommend that you defer your social security for as long as you can , so as to maximize the benefits you receive from it.
    • Other: If you have dependent children, the additional benefits you receive for them might make filing when you are younger worthwhile.

    It can also be a very good idea to have an overall retirement plan before you decide when to start your Social Security benefits. The NewRetirement Retirement Planner can help you assess all of your sources of retirement income and whether or not you will have enough to cover your expenses. This tool was recently named a best retirement calculator by the American Association of Individual Investors .

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    Who Can Qualify For Social Security Benefits

    To qualify for Social Security retirement benefits, in most cases:

    • You must be 62+ years old, or disabled/unable to work, and
    • You must have sufficient credits earned throughout your working life.3

    To qualify for Social Security spousal retirement benefits:

    • You must be married to a retired worker , and
    • You must have a child under age 16 or a disabled child in your care, or
    • You are 62+ years old.2

    To qualify for Social Security disability benefits if you are under the age of 62:

    • You must be 18+ years old and unable to work due to physical or mental disability, and
    • Your condition is expected to last at least a year or may result in death.3

    You may still qualify for Social Security disability benefits without earning the required 40 credits, depending on the circumstances. Your lifetime earnings and benefits help determine your monthly disability benefit amount.

    To qualify for Social Security survivors benefits:

    • You must be a widow or widower who is 60+ years old , or
    • You must be a widow or widower caring for the deceaseds child who is under the age of 16 or disabled, or
    • You must be a surviving divorced spouse , or
    • A dependent parent who is 62+ years old, or
    • You must be an unmarried child of the deceased and are:
    • Under 18 years old , or
    • 18+ years old with a disability that occurred before you turned 22.3

    Mothers Or Fathers Benefit

    How do I apply for social security?

    The surviving spouse of a deceased worker who is taking care of a child of the deceased worker is eligible for whatâs known as the âmotherâs benefitâ or the âfatherâs benefit.â The mother or father must be taking care of a child under age 16 or disabled. For information on calculating benefits, see our article on spousal disability benefits.

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    What Is Social Security And Who Is Eligible To Receive Social Security Benefits1

    Social Security is a U.S. federal program that provides enrolled individuals with a source of income when they become unable to work or earn sufficient wages on their own. There are three types of Social Security benefits:

    • Retirement
    • Disability
    • Survivors

    You are eligible to receive Social Security benefits in the United States once youve accumulated 40 work credits as long as you also pay Social Security taxes . Non-U.S. citizens who are living legally in the United States and have earned benefits can also collect Social Security.

    If A Disabled Individual Dies His Or Her Spouse And Dependents May Get Social Security Survivors Benefits

    By Lorraine Netter, Contributing Author

    When a disabled person who was receiving Social Security Disability Insurance dies, the money that they were receiving can go to his or her dependents, including a spouse, children, and even elderly dependent parents.

    Here are the various categories of relatives who are eligible to receive survivors benefits.

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