Monday, April 25, 2022

How Do You Claim Social Security Benefits

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Is My Social Security Income Taxable The Quick Answer

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According to the IRS, the quick way to see if you will pay taxes on your Social Security income is to take one half of your Social Security benefits and add that amount to all your other income, including tax-exempt interest. This number is known as your combined income .

If your combined income is above a certain limit , you will need to pay at least some tax.

The limit is $25,000 if you are a single filer, head of household or qualifying widow or widower with a dependent child. The limit for joint filers is $32,000. If you are married filing separately, you will likely have to pay taxes on your Social Security income.

What About Your Spouse And Children

Your spouse may also receive Social Security benefits once you retire, even if they never worked outside the home. If your spouse is at least 62 years old, then they can apply for benefits at a reduced rate. By waiting until full retirement age, however, your spouse can receive up to half the amount of your monthly benefits. Payments received by your spouse do not lower your own payments.

Your ex-spouse can also collect Social Security based on your earnings. To qualify, ex-spouses must meet the following conditions:

  • The marriage must have lasted at least 10 years
  • Two or more years must have passed since the divorce
  • They must not have remarried
  • They must be at least 62 years old and must not qualify for higher Social Security benefits based on their own employment history

If you reach retirement age and have children who are below age 18or 19 and still enrolled in elementary or secondary school, or older than 18 but severely disabledthen those children may also qualify to receive benefits based on your monthly entitlement. Your children can receive monthly payments up to half of the amount to which you are entitled, and these payments will not decrease your own Social Security benefits.

The limit for benefits received by your spouse and children varies but is normally 150% to 180% of your full retirement benefits.

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

Online
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.
Phone
If you dont have Internet access, you can sign up by phone. You can call the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213 .
In-person
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.

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When Can You Collect Social Security

Many people still think of age 65 as the age to retire, but that has changed. To collect full benefits, you cannot apply for Social Security until you are:

  • 66, if born in the 19431954 range
  • 66 and 2 months, if born in 1955
  • 66 and 4 months, if born in 1956
  • 66 and 6 months, if born in 1957
  • 66 and 8 months, if born in 1958
  • 66 and 10 months, if born in 1959
  • 67, if born in 1960 or later

If you delay retirement to age 70, then you will receive increased Social Security benefits. The percentage will depend on the year you were born, with a maximum 8% increase as the max. You can also choose to start collecting Social Security benefits as early as age 62, but your benefits will be reduced.

Social Security Disability Programs

Before You Claim Social Security

In addition to retirement benefits, the Social Security Administration manages two programs that provide benefits to people who are disabled or blind.

Social Security Disability Insurance Program
SSDI supports disabled or blind individuals by providing benefits based on their workers contributions to the Social Security trust fund. Your contributions are based on your earnings or your spouses or parents earnings while in the workforce. Your dependents may also be eligible for SSDI benefits based on your earnings.
Supplemental Security Income Program
SSI benefits are paid out as cash assistance to people with limited incomes and resources who are elderly, blind or disabled. These benefits may also include blind or disabled children. SSI payments are a federal benefit funded by the general fund of the United States not the Social Security trust fund. Some states provide additional state supplemental benefits in addition to the federal SSI payments.

In some cases, people may be eligible for both SSI and SSDI at the same time. The Social Security Administration calls these concurrent benefits. This can happen when a disability qualifies you for Social Security Disability Benefits, but you only get a small amount of monthly SSDI benefits. This may qualify you to receive SSI benefits as well.

Comparing SSDI and SSI Programs

FEATURE
Up to 85%

Income Taxes for Other Benefit Programs

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Social Security Disability Benefit Is Identical To Social Security Retirement

Many people are surprised to learn that their Social Security Disability benefit amount is exactly the same as their full Social Security Retirement benefit will be if they wait until their full retirement age to file for their Social Security retirement benefits.

Why are both your SSD and your Social Security Retirement the same amount? The Social Security Administrations benefit programs were designed by Congress, and the regulators who administer the programs, to serve particular purposes.

The Social Security Disability program is only open to workers who suffer long-term or permanent disabilities. The SSDI program is not intended to provide financial support to people with temporary disabilities. The very definition of an SSD qualified disability requires that the disability lasts or is expected to last at least 12 months or result in the death of the applicant.

Although the SSA hopes everyone recovers and resumes substantial gainful activities, the government knows that most SSD recipients are unlikely to return to full-time employment. For those people, their disability has forced them into early retirement.

When Can I Start Collecting Social Security

The minimum age to claim benefits is 62. If you are turning 62 and need the income from Social Security to support yourself, then you can start claiming your benefits now. However, if you have enough other income to keep you going until you are older, you may want to delay increasing the size of your monthly benefit.

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How Do I Estimate My Monthly Retirement Benefits

You can estimate your monthly retirement benefits by calculating your PIA, the monthly benefit youre eligible to receive once you reach your FRA. To determine your PIA, the Social Security Administration uses your best 35 years of employment to arrive at your Average Indexed Monthly Earnings . If you havent worked for 35 years, some of the included earnings may be zero.

If you continue working after reaching your FRA, the SSA will automatically recalculate your benefits each year you continue to work. If your current income is greater than any of your previously calculated best 35 years, your benefits will be adjusted upward. The increase generally will be made in October of the following year but will be retroactive to January 1.

Social Security retirement benefits are automatically modified each year for cost-of-living adjustments , which are either positive or zero never negative. COLAs are based on the Consumer Price Index and have averaged between 1% and 2% over the past 10 years.

For more information, the SSA offers a helpful Social Security retirement calculator.

How To Get A Social Security Card

How to Calculate Social Security Benefit & When to Claim
  • Gather your documents. Learn what documents you’ll need to get a card. Select your situation:
  • Adult or child
  • Original, replacement, or corrected card
  • U.S. born citizen, foreign born U.S. citizen, or noncitizen
  • Apply online for a replacement card. Apply online if youre not changing anything on your card and you are eligible. This option is available in most states. You will need to make a my Social Security account first. Or complete an application. If you can not apply online, fill out an application and return it to the SSA. Find out where to take it in person or mail it.
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    Social Security Payment Eligibility: Who Can Claim It

    It is dependent on a variety of factors

      When it comes to receiving Social Security payments in the United States, there are some certain requirements that need to be met first.

      Depending on the program you are on and the credits earned, that will determine when you are able to first claim Social Security payments.

      Maternity And Paternity Benefits In France

      This covers:

      • adoption leave shared between both parents.

      Notify the local health insurance fund as soon as possible after confirming the pregnancy.

      You are exempt from co-payments and flat-rate charges for all pregnancy-related medical costs from the sixth month of pregnancy and 12th day after birth. Also, you can get maternity benefits as soon as you stop working.

      You must take a minimum of eight weeks maternity leave but can take up to 16 weeks. Paternity leave is 11 consecutive days. Adoption is 10 weeks for a single child. To qualify you must have been registered with the social security system for at least 10 months before the expected date of delivery and paid/worked the requisite amount of hours/contributions.

      Daily maternity, paternity, or adoption benefit is equal to the daily wage of the three months prior to prenatal leave. This is up to a quarterly ceiling of 9,510 in 2015.

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      Ways To Increase Social Security Benefits

      Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This may influence which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list ofour partnersandhere’s how we make money.

      The investing information provided on this page is for educational purposes only. NerdWallet does not offer advisory or brokerage services, nor does it recommend or advise investors to buy or sell particular stocks or securities.

      Knowing how to increase Social Security benefits is important, since those checks will likely be a major source of your income in retirement.

      Unfortunately, many people dont understand how Social Security really works. They claim too early, miss out on important benefits and fail to use strategies that could boost their lifetime income. Their mistakes can cost them as much as $250,000, researchers have estimated.

      Here are eight ways to increase your Social Security benefits.

      How Do I Qualify For Social Security Retirement Benefits

      Social Security Disability

      When you work and pay taxes, you earn credits toward Social Security retirement benefits. These credits are based on your annual earnings you can accrue a maximum of four credits per year. Once youve acquired 40 credits , youre fully insured and eligible to receive retirement benefits.

      Your paychecks will withhold Federal Insurance Contributions Act tax until youve earned up to the taxable earnings base for the year.

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      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.

      Get Ssa Benefits While Living Overseas

      U.S. citizens can travel to or live in most, but not all, foreign countries and still receive their Social Security benefits. You can find out if you can receive benefits overseas by using the Social Security Administrations payment verification tool. Once you access the tool, pick the country you’re visiting or living in from the drop-down menu options.

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      Heres How Working After 62 Can Change Your Social Security Benefits

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        Continuing to work after age 62 can affect your level of Social Security retirement benefits, whether you are receiving benefits at the time or not. Knowing how continuing to work might change benefit levels can lead to better decisions about when to claim benefits and whether to continue working.

        You can begin claiming Social Security retirement benefits as early as age 62, whether you are working or not. You know that the level of benefits increases for each year you wait to claim them through age 70. Theres no benefit for delaying claiming past age 70. In addition, the level of benefits might increase if you continue working after 62, whether you claim benefits at 62 or later.

        Social Security retirement benefits are calculated using your 35 highest-earning years. If you dont have 35 years of earnings, youll be assigned an income of $0 for each of the missing years. After you turn 62, Social Security recalculates your benefits every year that you dont claim benefits. It will take your earnings for the latest year, add that to your record of lifetime earnings and select the 35 years with the highest inflation-adjusted earnings. Those are the only details of how benefits are calculated you need for this discussion.

        When claim Social Security retirement benefits and continue to work, the effects are more complicated.

        You Need To Have Credits To Qualify

        What You Need to Know about Claiming Social Security Benefits

        When the Social Security Administration reviews applications for SSDI benefits, they look at someones credits to determine what they should receive. Their age and their recent work history will also influence their right to make a claim.

        You receive work credits based on your payroll contributions. Currently, workers can accrue one credit for $1,510 in taxed employment income. You can accrue up to four credits each year. Usually, workers need to have 40 credits in total to make a benefits claim, and 20 of those credits should be from within the last 10 years.

        However, workers in their 20s and early 30s may qualify for SSDI with less work history. Workers under the age of 24 only need six credits, while those over the age of 31 need at least 20 credits in the last ten years to qualify. Understanding the qualifications forSSDI benefits can help you make decisions about filing a claim.

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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.

        Do You Expect To Have Additional Sources Of Retirement Income Beyond Social Security

        Continue saving in the coming years.

        Social Security won’t replace all of your pre-retirement income. On average, Social Security replaces 40 percent of a worker’s income. That means your retirement savings, pension, 401, or Individual Retirement Account will need to fill the gap. Claiming at your full Social Security benefit age or later can minimize this gap and maximize your monthly benefit. If you claim before your full retirement age, your monthly benefit could be reduced by as much as 30 percent.Learn more about saving for retirement.

        You have an opportunity to continue growing your money.

        If you can, get the highest monthly Social Security benefit possible by claiming at your full Social Security benefit age or later. If you claim before your full retirement age, your monthly benefit could be permanently reduced by as much as 30 percent. Also, take advantage of catch-up contributions to your 401 or Individual Retirement Account . Lastly, avoid losing your retirement savings to unnecessary tax penalties. If you withdraw your 401 or IRA savings before age 59½, you will likely face an early withdrawal penalty.Learn more about how retirement savings grow.

        It’s a perfect time to start saving.

        It’s never too late to start saving!

        There are many ways to plan for a secure retirement outside of Social Security.

        It’s never too late to start saving!

        A type of retirement savings account offered by employers to help their employees save for retirement.

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