When A Spouse Dies
When one spouse dies, the surviving spouse is entitled to receive the higher of their own benefit or their deceased spouses benefit. Thats why financial planners often advise the higher-earning spouse to delay claiming. If the higher-earning spouse dies first, then the surviving, lower-earning spouse will receive a larger Social Security check for life.
When the surviving spouse hasnt reached their FRA, they will be entitled to prorated amounts starting at age 60. Once at their FRA, the surviving spouse is entitled to 100% of the deceased spouses benefit or their own benefit, whichever is higher.
Social Security Benefits For Child Of Disabled Parent
The child of a disabled worker can qualify for benefits if they meet the conditions for coverage as a retired workers child. To qualify, the child must be:
- Unmarried and younger than 18, or 19 if still in high school
- Unmarried and age 18 or older if the child has a disability that began before age 22
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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Why Not Claim Early And Invest The Benefits In The Markets
This strategy is highly risky, said Elaine Floyd, the director of retirement and life planning with Horsesmouth, a New York company that trains financial advisers on Social Security strategies and other issues.
A beneficiary who goes the investment route, Ms. Floyd said, would need to reap consistently high returns and must be disciplined enough to sock away the money every month. And if the beneficiary is married and the higher earner dies first, the spouse would receive a relatively low survivor benefit.
Ms. Floyd offered a hypothetical beneficiary whose monthly Social Security benefit at full retirement age is $3,000. Say the beneficiary claimed a reduced benefit at 62 and invested the money, earning an inflation-adjusted return of 3 percent a year. By age 95, the cumulative benefits and investments would be roughly $278,000 lower than if the beneficiary had waited until 70 to claim the larger benefit.
Its really an apples-to-oranges comparison, she said. An 8 percent retirement credit and lifetime income from Social Security are the law, but investment returns are not that predictable.
General Information About Social Security
If you have worked less than 40 quarters under Social Security in the United States, but also contributed to an equivalent social program in a country with which the United States has a bilateral social security agreement, you may still be able to obtain some retirement benefits from Social Security. See: International agreements and totalization benefits. If you receive a foreign pension, or a pension from work in the United States not covered by Social Security , your Social Security benefits may be reduced by application of the Windfall Elimination Provision . Note that WEP does not apply if you have “substantially” contributed to Social Security for 30 years, and is alleviated if you have contributed to Social Security for more than 20 years. More about WEP and how it affects Americans abroad is on this ACA webpage here.Do you believe your Social Security benefits have been unfairly reduced by the Windfall Elimination Provision? Social Security will give you 60 days to appeal their decisions. Full information on the appeals process here: www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10041.pdf
NRAs who are entitled to Social Security retirement benefits and who reside in countries with no bilaterial social security agreement with the US may have their benefits cut off if they remain more than six months outside the US.
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No : Start Collecting Early At 62
If you live an average lifespan, though, you won’t come out ahead much by delaying, because you’ll get fewer checks, in total, than those who started earlier with smaller checks. If you live much longer than average, though, waiting will have been worth it. But if you have reason to believe you will live a shorter-than-average life, or you simply need the money, go ahead and start collecting early. For most people, that’s a perfectly reasonable thing to do.
When Will My Pension Payments Begin
Your pension payments will begin during one of the following months, whichever is latest:
- the month after you meet the residence and legal status requirements
- the month after your 65th birthday
- the month you asked for your OAS pension to start in and that you meet all eligibility requirements
For information on payment amounts, visit Old Age Security payment amounts.
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Social Security Spousal Benefits
The spouse of a retired worker can receive up to half of their spouses benefits. This does not reduce the benefits that the spouse receives. This benefit is generally for spouses who do not have a sufficient work history to be otherwise eligible for benefits or whose work history entitles them to a lower benefit than they would receive from the spousal benefit.
To get Social Security spousal benefits, you must be one of the following:
- At least 62 years old
- Any age if you are taking care of your spouses child who is also receiving benefits
- A divorced spouse who is at least age 62, whose marriage lasted at least 10 years, and who remains unmarried
Depending on the date of birth, full spousal benefits kick in at the same age as a workers full retirement benefits. You can start taking benefits as early as age 62, but if you do so, then the benefit will be permanently reduced.
The spousal benefit continues until one spouse dies. The survivor then may be eligible for survivor benefits.
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.
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How Long Will It Take For Ssa To Pay Me
As a rule, it takes one to two months for back benefits to be paid and monthly benefits to begin in a Social Security disability case in which no SSI application was ever filed.
But these are only general rules. In some cases, it takes as long as 3 months for back benefits to be paid. When it takes more than 90 days for back benefits to be paid in a Social Security disability case, it may mean that there has been a bureaucratic mix-up somewhere in the system. In that case it will be necessary to take some sort of action to deal with the delayed benefits.
If 90 days pass from the date of the decision and I am still not paid my back benefits, is there anything that can be done to speed up payment?
It is possible that your attorney may be able to do something if you are not paid after 90 days. Be sure to telephone your attorney to explain that you havent gotten paid after about three months. It may be necessary at that point to contact the payment center.
Will I Have To Pay Taxes On The Social Security Disability Benefits I Receive
Probably not, but this depends on the amount of your total income. Most people wont have to pay taxes on their Social Security disability benefits. Couples whose combined incomes exceed $32,000 and individuals with income exceeding $25,000 will pay income tax on a portion of their Social Security disability benefits. The IRS has an odd way of figuring out total income for this rule. The IRS uses adjusted gross income as reported on Form 1040, plus one-half of the total Social Security benefits received for the year, plus non-taxable interest.
Single people with incomes over $34,000 and married people with incomes over $44,000 pay tax on a higher percentage of their Social Security disability benefits.
Heres an odd thing: People whose Social Security benefits are reduced because of the workers compensation offset or offsets for other public disability benefits must count the amount of Social Security benefits not paid when determining taxability of their benefits. But if a child receives benefits on a parents account, those benefits count only for determining if the child must pay taxes on Social Security benefits received.
Tax law is very complex. Please talk to a tax specialist if you have any questions about taxes on your Social Security benefits.
Waiting Just Might Be Worth It
Social Security is designed to play a part in — but not be the only source of funding for — your retirement. When considering whether 62 is the right age for you to claim benefits, be sure to look at your total financial picture before committing. You just might find that waiting a bit could end up being a better overall choice.
Can I Keep A Job Even After I Start Collecting Retirement Dependents Or Survivors Benefits
Yes, and many people do just that. People who are past full retirement age may work and earn any amount without losing any of their Social Security benefits.
But before you reach full retirement age, Social Security will subtract money from your benefit check if you exceed a certain amount of earned income for the year . The limit applies only to earnings from work it does not apply to income from such things as savings, investments, pensions, or rental property. In other words, earnings from these sources will not affect your Social Security benefits.
The Social Security Administration has added a special twist for the year in which you reach full retirement age. During the 12 months prior to your birthday, you will lose one dollar of benefits for every three dollars you earn over a set monthly limit . After your birthday, you can earn any amount of money without losing benefits.
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Should I Sign Up For Direct Deposit
Direct deposit is a great convenience. It is very dependable. You can sign up by contacting your local Social Security office. But if you dont sign up before your disability hearing then it might be too late to have your back benefits paid by direct deposit because the Social Security Administration may have already sent out your check for back benefits.
There are a couple of problems with direct deposit of past due benefits. SSA sometimes has people sign up for direct deposit right when they apply for benefits. Sometimes, people forget that they even signed up and they keep looking for a check in the mail when the money has already been deposited to their bank account. Worse yet, sometimes people close the bank account that they told the Social Security Administration they wanted to use for direct deposit. If this were to happen to you, you would find that it will take a while to straighten this out. It might be necessary for you to go to the Social Security office to update the Social Security Administration on your current account information.
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.
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Do I Have To Do Anything Such As Visit The Social Security Office Or Complete Some Forms In Order To Get Paid My Social Security Disability Benefits
No. The Social Security Administration will process your claim and send you your benefits automatically. But if you have children who were under age 18 at any time after your date of entitlement, it will be necessary to put in an application for them to receive benefits but your own benefits will still be processed automatically.
How Much Is The Social Security Spousal Benefit
If youre eligible and can qualify, the spousal benefit can be as much as 50% of the higher-earning spouses full retirement age benefit.
If your spouses full retirement age benefit amounts to $2,000 per month, your spousal benefit at your full retirement age could amount to $1,000 per month.
Its important to note that this benefit cannot be more than 50% of the higher-earning spouses full retirement benefitbut it can be less!
Thats because the benefit is also based on your filing age. Depending on how old you are when you file, the spousal benefit amount will range between 32.5% and 50% of the higher-earning spouses full retirement benefit.
Check out the chart below to get an idea of how the benefit works and what your payment might be if you can take advantage of spousal benefits. The chart assumes that your full retirement age is 67 and your spouses full retirement age benefit is $2,000 per month.
Did you notice the steep penalty for filing early? You receive significantly less in payments if you choose to file sooner rather than wait until full retirement age.
You may have also noticed that the spousal benefit does not increase beyond your full retirement age. When considering your own Social Security benefit, there can be a lot of advantages to waiting to file and delaying when you start receiving payments well past your retirement age, but thats not the case here.
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What Is The Future Of Social Security
Social Security is expected to run out of cash reserves in 2034, according to the Old-Age and Survivors Insurance Trust Fund, the retirement benefits account managed by the Social Security Administration.
However, this doesnt mean the program would be bankrupt and unable to pay out benefits. If Congress does nothing to reform the system by 2034, Social Security would still be able to pay 79 percent of promised benefits until 2090.
Social Security has run out of cash reserves before. Congress reformed the program in the 1980s by taxing benefits based on income levels and by gradually increasing the full retirement age from 65 to 67.
It Depends On The Type Of Benefit And Other Factors
Most people think of Social Security benefits as a monthly payment that you start getting in retirement and receive for the rest of your life. In fact, Social Security is an umbrella term for several federal benefits programs. One of the largest government programs anywhere in the world, Social Security is expected to have paid out more than $1 trillion to about 65 million Americans in 2020.
There are three key groups of people who receive Social Security benefits: retired workers, survivors of retirees, and people with disabilities and their families. How long does Social Security last? It depends on the type of benefit.
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How To Stop Social Security Check Payments
The SSA can not pay benefits for the month of a recipients death. That means if the person died in July, the check received in August must be returned. Find out how to return a check to the SSA.
If the payment is by direct deposit, notify the financial institution as soon as possible so it can return any payments received after death. For more about the requirement to return benefits for the month of a beneficiarys death, see the top of page 11 of this SSA publication.
Family members may be eligible for Social Security survivors benefits when a person getting benefits dies. Visit the SSA’s Survivors Benefits page to learn more.
When Will I Receive My Payments Each Month
If you sign up for direct deposit, your payment is automatically deposited into your bank account on the third from last banking day of each month, otherwise it will be sent to you by mail, usually during the last three banking days of each month.
If you are automatically enrolled for the OAS pension and if you currently receive a CPP benefit by direct deposit, we will deposit your OAS pension payments to the same account.
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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.