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How Do You Get Your Social Security Check

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How Do You Apply For Benefits

QUICK TIP: Why you need to check your Social Security statements now

When you are ready to apply for Social Security benefits, you can apply in a number of ways. For individuals living in the United States, applications can be taken over the phone, online or by visiting a local Social Security office.

Individuals who do not reside within the United States or any of its territories must contact the nearest U.S. Social Security office, Embassy or consulate.

What If My Payment Doesn’t Come

Contact the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213 or find a Social Security office near you if your direct deposit or debit card funds aren’t made on time. The SSA asks that you wait three days before reaching out to them, however.

The risk of your “check” being stolen is virtually eliminated if you use the Direct Deposit option because the money is transmitted electronically and directly to your bank account.

What About Taxes On Social Security

Keep in mind that Social Security benefits may be taxable, depending on your combined income. Your combined income is equal to your adjusted gross income , plus non-taxable interest payments , plus half of your Social Security benefit.

As your combined income increases above a certain threshold , more of your benefit is subject to income tax, up to a maximum of 85%. For help, talk with a CPA or tax professional.

In any case, if youre still working, you may want to postpone Social Security either until you reach your full retirement age or until your earned income is less than the annual limit. In no situation should you postpone benefits past age 70.

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Request A Replacement Social Security Card

If you had your Social Security card stolen or simply lost your SS card, then you will need to get a replacement card. In many states, you can replace a lost or stolen card online using your My Social Security account and uploading a copy of your drivers license. If you are in a state that cannot use the online service, the card can be requested at your local Social Security office or through the mail using a paper application. In most cases, you will keep your same SSN. However, if the fraud has become bad enough, the SSA will issue you a new Social Security number when warranted.

How Do Benefits Work And How Can I Qualify

Maximize your Social Security checks by doing these 4 ...

While you work, you pay Social Security taxes. This tax money goes into a trust fund that pays benefits to:

  • Those who are currently retired

  • To people with disabilities

  • To the surviving spouses and children of workers who have died

Each year you work, youll get credits to help you become eligible for benefits when its time for you to retire. Find all the benefits Social Security Administration offers.

There are four main types of benefits that the SSA offers:

  • Learn about earning limits if you plan to work while receiving Social Security benefits

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There Are Social Security Benefits For Surviving Spouses And Children

If your spouse dies before you, you can take a Social Security survivor benefit, but not in addition to your own benefit. You must choose one or the other. If you are at full retirement age, that benefit is worth 100% of what your spouse was receiving at the time of his or her death .

A widow or widower can start taking a survivor benefit at age 60, but the benefit will be reduced because it’s taken before full retirement age. If you remarry before age 60, you cannot get a survivor benefit. But if you remarry after age 60, you may be eligible to receive a survivor benefit based on your former spouse’s earnings record.

Eligible children who are under age 18 or were disabled before age 22 can also receive a Social Security survivor benefit, worth up to 75% of the deceased’s benefit.

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.

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Wait Until Age 70 To Start Collecting Benefits

You can start collecting your benefits as early as age 62, but delaying them will make the checks bigger. If you can manage to delay starting to collect your benefits, that’s a great way to make them fatter. Just remember that you’ll get fewer of those checks if you start later. You’ll need to live a longer-than-average life — at least beyond your break-even point — in order for this strategy to give you more total benefit dollars.

Your Monthly Social Security Benefits Grow The Longer You Wait To Claim

Can I really get $144.60 added back to my Social Security check?

You can collect Social Security benefits as soon as you turn 62, but taking benefits before your full retirement age results in a permanent benefits reduction of as much as 25% to 30%, depending on your full retirement age.

If you wait until you hit full retirement age to claim Social Security benefits, youll receive 100% of your earned benefits. Or you can keep waiting to claim your Social Security benefits all the way to age 70. There’s a big bonus to delaying your claim — your monthly Social Security benefit will grow by 8% a year until age 70. Any cost-of-living adjustments will be included, too, so you don’t forgo those by waiting.

Waiting to claim your Social Security benefits can benefit your heirs as well. By waiting to take his benefit, a high-earning husband, for example, can ensure that his low-earning wife will receive a much higher survivor benefit in the event he dies before her. That extra income of up to 32% could make a big difference for a widow whose household is down to one Social Security benefit.

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How To Track A Social Security Check

Social Security checks may get lost in transit. This can happen in the U.S. mail or with direct deposit that the Social Security Administration prefers. As far back as 1992, more than half of Social Security recipients used direct deposit. If your check does not arrive in a timely manner, track the check with the help of Social Security personnel.

Think Of Social Security As An Annuity

“Given todays longevity, it is more important than ever to maximize your Social Security benefit. Think of this as an annuity for your lifetime,” says Charlotte A. Dougherty, CFP®, founder of Dougherty & Associates, Cincinnati, Ohio.

“Social Security is the only 8% guaranteed investment around. Not only that, it is backed by the federal government,” says David Hunter, CFP®, Horizons Wealth Management, Inc., Asheville, N.C.

Although there are many planning options for maximizing Social Security benefits, they can be complex and only apply in certain circumstances. The following five planning tips are ones that everyone should know about in order to increase the size of their Social Security checks.

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Significant Changes In Your Credit Score

Your credit score is how the credit reporting agencies like Transunion, Equifax, and Experian track your credit history and creditworthiness. Your score is based on a number of factors like the length of time you have had credit, how much outstanding debt you have, and how many new accounts you have opened recently. If your score changes significantly, then it might be a sign that someone is using your SSN to open new credit accounts. If you notice this sudden change, then you should immediately get a copy of your credit report and examine it for accounts that do not belong to you.

How Much Will I Get

Investing: When to take Social Security payments

Your Social Security benefits are based on your lifetime earnings. The formula is a little complicated, but it averages the income from your 35 highest-earning years. If you have already accumulated 40 Social Security credits, then you can use the online Social Security Retirement Estimator to get a rough idea of what you will get.

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Who Is Eligible For The Social Security Debit Card

Anyone who receives Social Security or Supplemental Security Income benefits is eligible to use this card.

Because its a prepaid debit card, you can only use your Direct Express Social Security debit card if you have funds in your account. Once youve spent or withdrawn your entire account balance, youll have to wait for your next monthly disbursement to use your card again.

You cannot deposit personal funds onto the card. You must open a separate bank or prepaid card to deposit personal funds.

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What To Do If Your Ssdi Payment Is Late

If you are worried that your payment was stolen, you should contact the SSA immediately. Otherwise, they request that you wait at least three business days after the date you should have received your check to contact your local office or call them at 1-800-772-1213 on Monday through Friday from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm.

You should receive your first payment within 90 days of being approved for benefits. If you do not get it within this time period, contact your Social Security disability lawyer if you have one or the SSA.

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What Is A Social Security Card

You should regularly check the estimated Social Security benefit youâll eventually get

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.

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Max Out Earnings Through Full Retirement Age

The SSA calculates your benefit amount based on your earnings, so the more you earn, the higher your benefit amount will be. Some pre-retirees look for ways to increase their income, such as taking on part-time work or generating business income. Others, however, unaware of the impact on benefits, may scale back on their work or semi-retire, which can lower their Social Security income.

“Money earned after age 60 isn’t indexed, which means that income-earning in your 60s can replace a year in which there was a zero or a year in which you had lower earnings,” says Marguerita Cheng, CFP®, CRPC®, RICP, CDFA, CEO of Blue Ocean Global Wealth, Gaithersburg, Md.

Earnings above the annual cap$142,800 in 2021 and indexed to inflation each yearare left out of the calculation. Your goal should be to maximize your peak earning years, striving to earn at or above the cap.

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.

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What Is The Future Of Social Security

If youre skeptical about the future of Social Security or wary of potential changes such as means testingwhich could reduce or eliminate benefits for the wealthy, or an increase in the full retirement ageyou may be tempted to start benefits early, under the assumption that its better to have something than nothing. The 2020 annual report from the Social Security Trustees, released in April, projects that the Social Security Trust Fund has enough resources to cover all promised retirement benefits until 2035, and will cover 79% of scheduled benefits for new retirees thereafter without changing the current system. The 2020 report does not include an adjusted projection due to impacts, if any, from the pandemic.

Over the longer term, changes such as later benefit dates or means testing may be considered.

In any situation, if youre particularly concerned about the future prospects for Social Security, thats a good reason to save more, and earlier, for your retirement.

How Can I Change Or Sign Up For Direct Deposit For My Social Security Or Supplemental Security Income Payments

The First Thing You Should Do With Your Social Security ...

If you already receive benefits and you have a bank account, you can start or update your direct deposit by using the My Profile tab in your personal mySocial Security account. You can also decide when your change will take effect.This service is not currently available for people who receive SSI or do not have a U.S. mailing address. However, if you are receiving SSI, you can still check the type of payment method we have on record in the Benefit & Payment Details tab in your personal mySocial Security account.

If you get SSI, do not have a U.S. mailing address, or are unable to change your address online, you can start or update direct deposit by:

  • Contacting your bank, credit union, or savings and loan association.
  • Calling us at 1-800-772-1213 .

If you currently do not get Social Security benefits or SSI, but plan to apply, sign up for direct deposit when you apply for benefits. Please have your checkbook with you or contact your bank to obtain your account number and routing transit number.

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Tax On Social Security Benefits

You may have to pay taxes on your Social Security benefit, depending on your income level. If your retirement income is over a certain amount, then part of your Social Security benefits may be taxable.

Single-filers with an income between $25,000 and $34,000 will have to pay income tax on up to 50% of their benefits. If they make more than $34,000, then up to 85% of the benefits may be taxable.

Keep this in mind when filing your tax return. You may also be able to withhold your taxes from your Social Security benefits payments, so you arenât stuck with a large tax bill on Tax Day. Check your SSA account online or visit your local Social Security office for more information.

Why Collect Less Money Than You Could From Social Security Here Are Some Ways To Beef Up Your Benefits

Social Security is a vital support for most Americans in retirement. Indeed, it supplies about a third of elderly Americans’ retirement income, and for 21% of married elderly Americans and 45% of unmarried ones, it provides 90% or more of their income.

Given that, it’s clearly worthwhile to get as much as you can out of Social Security. Here are 10 ways to make your checks larger and/or simply collect more overall from Social Security.

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People Will Get Bigger Social Security Checks In 2022 How To Prepare

People who collect Social Security are about to see bigger checks.

The cost-of-living adjustment in 2022 will be 5.9%, the Social Security Administration said Wednesday. The bump, which will help beneficiaries keep up with rising costs due to inflation, is the largest increase in about 40 years.

The adjustment will mean larger checks for more than 70 million Americans. The roughly 8 million Americans on Supplemental Security Income, or SSI, will see the change come Dec. 30, while about 64 million getting Social Security will see the increase in January.

The 2022 or cost-of-living adjustment will add roughly $92 a month to an average retirement benefit of $1,565 a month, according to some estimates.

The cost of living adjustment is an automatic adjustment every year and is one of the most valuable features of Social Security, said Nancy Altman, president of Social Security Works, an advocacy group focused on expanding benefits.

Heres what beneficiaries need to know about this years COLA.

You Should Check Your Social Security Balance Regularly Heres Why

3 Tips to Increase Your Social Security Check

Social Security is the main source of income for a majority of the elderly in the U.S. According to data from the Social Security Administration, nearly 9 out of 10 people age 65 and older receive Social Security benefits, representing 33% of the income of the elderly. But is it enough?

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Vanguards latest report says that most Americans arent prepared for retirement years, as reported by WFAA. The average retirement account balance was a little more than $106,000, but more than half had savings worth less than $40,000, and a third had less than $10,000 saved.

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The Social Security Administration used to send regular updates regarding estimated future benefits, reports WFAA. The amount received is based on the 35 years in which an individual earned the most. While the administration is no longer sending updates, you can still get access to them. By creating a login with Social Security, you can sign in and it will tell you if you have worked enough to get a monthly benefit. WFAA also added that the site will reveal what your monthly payment may be, based on your history of earnings.

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