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How Do You Qualify For Social Security Benefits

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What Are The Work History Eligibility Requirements For Ssdi

How to apply for social security benefits?

To meet the work eligibility requirements to qualify for SSDI, you must have worked long enough and recently enough to qualify. Eligibility is based on the number of work credits you have earned. For each quarter of work with income of a certain amount, you can earn one work credit.

The amount of work needed changes, but for example, in 2017, if you earn $1,700 per quarter or more in the year, you would earn four credits for the year.

How many credits you will need to qualify for benefits will depend on your age. These general rules apply:

  • Generally, you must have earned 40 work credits with 20 of them having been earned in the last 10 years.
  • If you’re younger than 31 years old, you may qualify for SSDI benefits with fewer work credits.

Divorced Know This Significant Exception To The Rule

When planning your Social Security filing strategy, its important to note that you cannot file for a spousal benefit until the higher earning spouse files for their benefit.

But this does not apply if your are filing for a spousal benefit from an ex-spouse.

If your ex-spouse has not applied for retirement benefits you can receive benefits on his or her record if you have been divorced for at least two years and your ex-spouse is at least 62.

How To Apply For Social Security Benefits

The application process by itself is fairly easy and can be accomplished either online, by telephone or in person at a local Social Security office. Generally, people can apply for Social Security when they turn 62, but in many instances, it makes good financial sense to delay applying for benefits.

Social Security also provides benefits for spouses and children as well. Spouses who have not been high wage earners throughout their lives can actually piggyback off of their spouses earnings and draw as much as 50 percent of a retirement benefit using their spouses Social Security record. Certain rules do apply in this set of circumstances. Divorced spouses may also qualify for benefits if their marriage lasted for at least 10 years and they do not remarry before applying for benefits.

In addition, if children meet requirements, they can also apply for benefits from their parents Social Security work records as well. They may be eligible for funds if a parent passes away and they are under 18 and still in school.

Once a benefit amount has been set, that dollar amount cant go down, but it can go up, based on cost of living increases. Some benefit recipients may experience a temporary reduction based on income from other sources, but the base amount will always remain steady.

For an overview of Social Security and to start applying for retirement benefits, go to www.socialsecurity.gov or call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213.

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Do I Get Extra Money From Social Security For Being A Veteran

As a veteran, you may receive several different benefits from the Social Security Administration . The exact interplay between VA and SSA benefits depends on the circumstances that are specific to your case, but it is very common for veterans to receive VA disability compensation in addition to Social Security Disability Insurance. Also, veterans who served prior to 2001 get additional social security credit for their military service that is counted towards their SSA retirement benefits.

Ensuring that you are receiving all of the VAand SSA benefits that you might be entitled to can help you and your familyenjoy financial stability for years to come. You gave years of your life toyour country, and you deserve compensation for your service. But sometimes theVA may be reluctant to grant you the benefits you deserve. If you have beendenied your VA benefits, call Jackson and MacNichol today at 800-524-3339 for afree consultation with a veterans disability compensation lawyer.

Extra Social SecurityCredits For Veterans Were Discontinued in 2002

The amount and type of credits you receivedepends on the period in which you served in the military:

Although the SSA automatically takes thesecredits into account when calculating your lifetime earnings, it doesnt hurtto ask for a copy of your work record from SSA to make sure all of your military service has beentaken into account.

What to Do IfYour Benefits Are Denied

The Big Question: When Should I Apply For Retirement Benefits

Do You Qualify for Social Security Disability Benefits in ...

The single biggest decision youll make when it comes to Social Security retirement benefits is when to apply.

Every persons situation is unique and so theres no single right answer. In general terms and based on life expectancies, Social Security retirement benefits are calculated to give you approximately the same total amount of benefits over your lifetime. If you decide to draw benefits earlier in your life, your average monthly amount will be less than if you delay and draw benefits later in life.

The amount you receive can vary widely. For example, if you were born in 1953 or 1954 and you were entitled to draw a $1,000 benefit at your full retirement age of 66, that amount would be $750 if you decided to draw benefits starting at age 62. But in that same scenario, if you delayed benefits until age 70, the amount would jump to $1,350.

There is no exact science when deciding when to apply, but here are some things to consider as you decide whats best for you.

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When Can You File For Social Security

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.

Benefits For Your Children

When you qualify for Social Security disability benefits, your children may also qualify to receive benefits on your record. Your eligible child can be your biological child, adopted child, or stepchild. A dependent grandchild may also qualify.

To receive benefits, the child must:

  • Be unmarried.
  • Be under age 18 or
  • Be 18-19 years old and a full-time student or

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We Are With Those Who Need A Helping Hand

The Supplemental Security Income program is a program that provides income support to people with disabilities, people age 65 or older, or blind, who have low income and resources. U.S. Treasury general funds, not the Social Security trust funds, pay for SSI.

If you or someone you know may be eligible for SSI, visit to learn more and apply.

Certain Government And Railroad Employees

How to Apply for Social Security Disability

There are some jobs that dont pay into Social Security. Federal government employees hired before 1984 are included in the Civil Service Retirement System , which provides retirement, disability, and survivor benefits. These workers did not have Social Security taxes deducted from their paychecks and thus are not eligible to receive Social Security benefits.

They may still qualify if they have earned benefits through another job or a spouse. However, in these cases, CSRS pension payments may reduce Social Security payouts. Government workers who are covered by the Federal Employees Retirement System , which replaced CSRS, are eligible for Social Security benefits.

Most state and local employees have Social Security protection under a federal Section 218 agreement. However, some of these workersincluding those who work for a public school system, college, or universitywill not receive Social Security benefits if they do not pay Social Security taxes. They generally receive pension benefits from their employers.

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Adults Disabled Before Age 22

An adult who has a disability that began before age 22 may be eligible for benefits if a parent is deceased or starts receiving retirement or disability benefits. We consider this a “child’s” benefit because it is paid on a parent’s Social Security earnings record.

The disabled “adult child” including an adopted child, or, in some cases, a stepchild, grandchild, or step grandchild must be unmarried, age 18 or older, have a disability that started before age 22, and meet the definition of disability for adults.

Example

It is not necessary that the disabled “adult child” ever worked. Benefits are paid based on the parent’s earnings record.

  • A disabled “adult child” must not have substantial earnings. The amount of earnings we consider “substantial” increases each year. In 2021, this means working and earning more than $1,310 a month.

Working While Disabled: How We Can Help

Can I Collect More Than One Type Of Benefit At A Time

No. You may qualify for more than one type of Social Security benefit at a time, but you can collect just one. For example, you might be eligible for both retirement and disability, or you might be entitled to benefits based on your own retirement as well as on that of your retired spouse. You can collect whichever one of these benefits is higher, but not both.

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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

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.

Were There When You Get Your First Job

Do you Qualify for Social Security Disability Benefits?

Every time you change jobs, your employer verifies your Social Security number with us. Doing so helps reduce fraud and improves the accuracy of your earnings records, ensuring you get the benefits you have earned.

Employers collect FICA, or Federal Insurance Contributions Act withholdings, and report earnings electronically to us. This is how we track your earnings and is how you earn Social Security retirement, disability, spouses, and survivors coverage for you and your family. A worker earns up to four Social Security credits each year and needs 40 credits, or 10 years of work, to qualify for retirement benefits. Its vital that you work at least 10 years to qualify for Social Security benefits to be based on your own work record.

Opening a free allows you to verify your earnings history and see if you will get Social Security retirement benefits. A secure also lets you estimate future benefits.

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Apply For Benefits Online

You should apply for disability benefits as soon as you become disabled. Follow these easy steps to apply online for disability:

  • To start your application, go to our Apply for Benefits page, and read and agree to the Terms of Service. Click Next.
  • On that page, review the Getting Ready section to make sure you have the information you need to apply.
  • Select Start A New Application.
  • We will ask a few questions about who is filling out the application.
  • You will then sign into your mySocial Security account, or you will be prompted to create one.
  • Complete the application.

You can use the online application to apply for disability benefits if you:

  • Are age 18 or older.
  • Are not currently receiving benefits on your own Social Security record.
  • Are unable to work because of a medical condition that is expected to last at least 12 months or result in death and
  • Have not been denied for disability in the last 60 days.
  • Note: If your application was recently denied, our application is a starting point to request a review of the determination we made.

You may be able to file online for SSI at the same time that you file for SSDI benefits. Once you complete the online process above, a Social Security representative will contact you if we need additional information.

Earnings And Their Impact On Your Benefit Amount: How Much Will My Social Security Payment Be

Certain types of earnings may reduce your actual retirement benefit amount, while others will not. Those that may reduce the amount you receive include:

  • Wages earned as an employee. These dollars will be calculated for the taxable year that you earn them.
  • Self-employment net earnings. These dollars are calculated for the taxable year that they are received.
  • Work related income, including commissions and bonuses.

Other types of earnings will not impact the amount of the retirement benefit you receive. Generally, these will include:

  • Retirement and pension payments
  • Investment income
  • Income earned after you reach your full retirement age

In some instances, other types of income may affect the bottom line of your retirement benefit amount. Its best to check with your tax professional or call the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213.

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How Much Work Do You Need

In addition to meeting our definition of disability, you must have worked long enough and recently enough under Social Security to qualify for disability benefits.

Social Security work credits are based on your total yearly wages or self-employment income. You can earn up to four credits each year.

The amount needed for a work credit changes from year to year. In 2021, for example, you earn one credit for each $1,470 in wages or self-employment income. When you’ve earned $5,880, you’ve earned your four credits for the year.

The number of work credits you need to qualify for disability benefits depends on your age when you become disabled. Generally, you need 40 credits, 20 of which were earned in the last 10 years ending with the year you become disabled. However, younger workers may qualify with fewer credits.

For more information on whether you qualify, refer to How You Earn Credits.

Who Can Qualify For Social Security Benefits

How to Apply 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

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Your Social Security Full Retirement Age Plays A Big Role Know It

First things first:Determine your Social Security full retirement age. For people born between 1943 and 1954, full retirement age is 66. It gradually climbs toward 67 if your birthday falls between 1955 and 1959. For those born in 1960 or later, full retirement age is 67.

You can claim your Social Security benefits a few years before or after your full retirement age, and your monthly benefit amount will vary as a result. More on that in a moment.

Children Can Collect Social Security Benefits Too

Minor children of Social Security beneficiaries can be eligible for benefits. Children up to age 18 and disabled children older than 18 may be able to receive up to half of a parent’s Social Security benefit. The disability must have occurred before the age of 22. As long as the disability prevents the person from working, the adult child can continue collecting the benefit even after the parent has died.

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Survivors Benefits For Spouses

Widows and widowers are eligible for benefits under their deceased spouses record, generally including:

  • 100 percent of the workers benefit amount if they are at full retirement age
  • 71-99 percent of the workers benefit amount if they are older than 60 but younger than full retirement age
  • Benefits beginning at age 50 if they are disabled and the disability started before or within 7 years of their spouses death
  • 75 percent of the workers benefit amount at any age if they are taking care of your child, who is under 16 years old or disabled, who received benefits on your record. They must also not have remarried.

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