It’s Time To Get The Benefits You Deserve
Suze Orman shares how to get disability benefits in less timewith no out-of-pocket costs
Can I Apply For My Spouses Social Security Benefits
Yes, you can apply for a spouses benefits. You must be at least 62 years old or taking care of a disabled child or a child under 16 years old.
If you apply for these benefits before you reach your full retirement age, your benefits would be lower than if you waited to receive them at your full retirement age.
Read more about the details of applying for a spouses benefits here.
Think Twice Before Taking Retroactive Social Security Benefits As A Lump Sum
Before giving into the temptation of taking retroactive Social Security benefits, it’s important to… consider the ramifications of this decision.
One of the many reasons that reaching full retirement age is so important is that it affords you options that are not available to you sooner. One such option is retroactive benefits.
You may be wondering what retroactive benefits are and why they exist. The purpose of retroactive benefits is to allow people who have missed their planned filing date to push back their retirement date by up to six months. Most people do not use retroactive benefits in line with their original purpose. They find out its available to them when they file for benefits after full retirement age, and the lure of a lump sum payment becomes very tempting.
Retroactive benefits comprise a one-time payment the Social Security Administration will send you when you delay filing for retirement benefits beyond your full retirement age. In other words, when you file for benefits after your full retirement age, you can choose to be paid a lump sum for the months that occurred between your full retirement age and your filing date.
The maximum retroactive payment will cover up to six months worth of benefits. To receive the maximum amount, you must be past your full retirement age by six months. If you are only three months past your full retirement age, you will receive three months of retroactive benefits.
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Can You Be Entitled To Benefits Retroactively
You may be entitled to monthly benefits retroactively for months before the month you filed an application for benefits. For example,full retirement age claims and survivor claims may be paid for upto six months retroactively. In certain cases, benefits involvingdisability up to 12 months may be paid retroactively. , black lung benefits, medical insurance , or SSI .)
Answers To Faqs About Retroactive Social Security Disability Benefits
If you or a loved one suffers from a disabling medical condition, you may be looking into your options under the Social Security Disability Insurance program managed by the Social Security Administration . One basic requirement is that your ailment must be one that is expected to last more than a year, and which prevents you from working. Plus, to qualify for SSDI benefits, you must have accumulated sufficient work credits through your employment.
However, what you may not know is that you could be entitled to receive retroactive benefits going back to time periods before you even applied for SSDI. Though there are no guarantees, you owe it to yourself to consult with a about whether you are eligible. Some answers to common questions about retroactive benefits may also be helpful.
How do SSDI retroactive payments work? Obviously, there is a time lag between developing a disability, applying for SSDI benefits, and getting approval from SSA. Still, if you qualify based on the medical criteria and work requirements, you technically should receive benefits from the onset of disability. Therefore, you may be eligible for retroactive payments up to 12 months prior to the date that SSA approves your SSDI application.
What does SSA review when considering retroactive benefits? There are three key dates for purposes of determining retroactive payments:
Our Maryland Social Security Disability Attorneys Can Provide Additional Answers
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If You Were Born In 1955 Your Full Retirement Age Is 66 And 2 Months
If you start receiving benefits at age 66 and 2 months you get 100 percent of your monthly benefit. If you delay receiving retirement benefits until after your full retirement age, your monthly benefit continues to increase.
The chart below explains how delayed retirement affects your benefit. The increase is based on your date of birth and the number of months you delay the start of your retirement benefits. If you start receiving retirement benefits at age:
- 67, you’ll get 106.7 percent of the monthly benefit because you delayed getting benefits for 10 months.
- 70, you’ll get 130.7 percent of the monthly benefit because you delayed getting benefits for 46 months.
When you reach age 70, your monthly benefit stops increasing even if you continue to delay taking benefits.
Get The Lowdown On This Much
Most Americans rely heavily on Social Security for financial support after they retire. Making a smart decision about claiming your Social Security benefits is therefore vital to guarantee your financial well-being in retirement.
One of the most critical choices you’ll make with Social Security is the start date for your monthly payments from the program, with a wide range from age 62 to age 70 available to workers claiming retirement benefits. But what many people don’t realize is that there’s another choice that some retirees have that can give them retroactive benefits if they want. The big lump-sum payments that retroactive benefits provide can be enticing, but they come with a catch that you need to understand before choosing to take them.
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Social Security Disability Retroactive Benefits
Social Security Disability benefits can be paid retroactively up to 12 months prior to a claimants application date if all requirements are met. SSI benefits however are not retroactively paid before the date of the application in other words, there is no retroactive effect of an SSI application.
For SSI applications there is an effective waiting period until the first of the next month after all requirements are met before benefits begin. For social security disability there is a five month waiting period after the onset date, the date disability began, during which no social security disability benefits are payable. Because only full months are counted, the actual waiting period is nearly always more than five months. Only when a person becomes disabled on the first day of the month is the waiting period exactly five months.
How Do I Apply For Social Security Disability Or Ssi
Claims are initiated by filing a claim in person at the local district and branch Social Security office or by telephone by calling 772-1213. Most claimants should file for both types of benefits in the same application. It is also possible to file online by going to www.SSA.gov. You will be asked a series of questions regarding your past work, medical conditions, education and you will need a list of your doctors and prescriptions.
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Should You Take Retroactive Social Security Benefits
There are some cases where youcan receive retroactive Social Security benefits, usually delivered via aone-time lump sum payment when you file for your retirement benefit.
Overall, this can sound like agreat deal. It might feel like a little extra, and the lump sum means you cando what you want with that money right away instead of waiting for it to cometo you in monthly payments.
But are retroactive SocialSecurity benefits truly a good thing? Heres what you need to know to make thisdecision for yourself.
Where Retroactive Benefits Come In
It’s the need for a big lump sum of cash that makes Social Security’s retroactive benefits provision interesting to some retirees. Under the program, you might be entitled to receive monthly benefits retroactively for a period going back from when you filed your application with the Social Security Administration.
For retirement benefit claims, those who’ve reached full retirement age have the ability to ask for benefits to be paid for up to six months on a retroactive basis. However, retroactive payments can only be made back to the month in which you reach full retirement age. So for instance, if your full retirement age is 66, then you’d have to be at least 66 1/2 before you could get six full months’ worth of retroactive payments.
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What You Give Up To Get Retroactive Benefits
At first, it might seem like asking for retroactive payments would be a no-brainer. However, there’s a trade-off in receiving benefits retroactively: The amount you receive is based on what you would have gotten if you’d filed for benefits on the retroactive date six months earlier rather than on your current age.
To see how this works, take an example. Say that a worker is entitled to receive a $1,500 monthly benefit at full retirement age. They decide to wait beyond that age to file, but then six months later, they decide they want to start their benefits.
If the worker takes regular monthly payments, then delayed retirement credits for the six-month waiting period will apply. That works out to a 4% higher payment, so the worker will get $1,560 per month instead of $1,500. That increase will apply for the rest of the worker’s life, with future cost-of-living adjustments based on the higher figure.
Alternatively, the worker can take six months of retroactive benefits. However, the retroactive amount will be based on the full retirement benefit of $1,500 without any delayed retirement credits, making the lump sum $9,000. Going forward, the worker will get just $1,500 per month rather than $1,560.
Avoid Taking Retroactive Social Security Benefits
You have waited to file your Social Security benefits to raise the amount of benefits that you receive. At the time of filing, you are offered retroactive Social Security benefits for up to six months. Why would you not take the Social Security Administration up on that offer?
There is one huge reason not to take the retroactive benefits. Doing so also sets back your filing date to determine your lifetime benefits by six months, costing you up to 4% of your total benefits for the rest of your life in return for six months worth of benefits.
Remember that you can receive Social Security benefits starting at age 62, but benefits are significantly reduced when you file that early. To receive your maximum benefit, you must file when you reach the full retirement age , of 66.
Retroactive filings are only relevant once you reach FRA or beyond. By law, once you reach FRA, you are able to file for retroactive benefits for up to six months, but cannot extend the benefits beyond your FRA. For example, if you turned 66 in March but held off filing until June, you could only claim the four months of retroactive benefits extending back to your FRA in March.
The reason the retroactivity is harmful is that if you do not file, your benefits continue to build until age seventy when the maximum benefits can be claimed. For each year that you defer filing until age seventy, your annual benefits increase by 8%, including any cost-of-living adjustments.
The Rules For Retroactively Claiming Benefits Change At Full Retirement Age
When most people think about Full Retirement Age, the first thing that typically comes to mind is the age at which a full Social Security benefit can be received. While that is certainly true, an individuals FRA is also meaningful because it marks the time when many of the rules surrounding Social Security benefits change.
One such shift in the rules when an individual reaches FRA involves the ability to file for retroactive benefits. Simply put, the decision not to claim an early Retirement Benefit prior to FRA is an irrevocable decision. If a month’s worth of benefits has been missed , no benefits can be received for that month.
Example #1: Ida is a 63-year-old retiree who was born in 1958. Her FRA is 66 years and 8 months. Thus far, she has not claimed her Social Security Retirement Benefit. Recently, though, due to her failing health, Ida has begun to regret the fact that she did not claim her Retirement Benefit sooner.
Unfortunately, since Ida has not yet reached her FRA, the best that she can do is to submit an application now for benefits to begin immediately .
She is not entitled to any early benefits retroactively for months prior to her initial application.
If an individual decides to file a retroactive application for their Retirement Benefits beyond 6 months past their FRA, they may only be granted a maximum of 6 months of retroactive benefits.
Retroactive Ssi And Ssdi Payments
When claimants are approved for either SSI and/or SSDI benefits they may also be eligible for Retroactive benefits. Retroactive SSI benefits may be paid from the month after the Protective Filing Date and Retroactive SSDI benefits may be paid from the established date of onset of disability plus the 5-month waiting period. However, exceptions to this do exist. For questions about a specific SSI and/or SSDI benificiarys Retroactive benefits we encourage you to contact the their local SSA field office.
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Developing Money Management Skills
- If an SSI/SSDI beneficiary would like to become their own payee, they can contact SSA to make this request. SSA will need to conduct a capability interview and may require the person to have certain forms completed by their doctor such as the SSA-787. You can assist beneficiaries to develop budgeting and money management skills that will help them successfully manage their own SSI/SSDI benefits if they become their own payee. Here are a few resources that can be shared with the people with whom you work:
- Building Financial Wellness Workbook
How A Social Security Attorney Can Help
The process of applying for benefits and obtaining them is not only tedious, but also confusing. Besides a number of legalities beyond the comprehension of a general applicant, not all applicants receive a fair review, because not all applicants have knowledge about:
- The proper documentation and records to be submitted with the application
- The required presentation to be given before the judge
- The amount of benefits that can be requested
- The procedure to change the EOD from the AOD
Hiring an SSDI lawyer can ensure that your application receives a fair review and you are given the benefits you deserve for your disability.
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Will You Explain The 6 Month Retroactive Benefit
Would you please explain what the 6 month retroactive benefit is and how it works. I am 68 years old, my FRA was 66 and I am still working and haven’t filed for my S.S. retirement benefits yet
I’ll try. Since you are older than full retirement age , when you file for benefits you will have the option to claim benefits up to 6 months prior to your month of filing. However, taking the retroactive benefits will come at the cost of receiving a lower monthly benefit rate for life.
For example, say Bill turns age 70 in July 2017. If Bill files for his benefits in July, he’ll have the option to start his benefits either at age 70 or effective with any of the 6 months prior to that. If Bill’s age 70 benefit rate would be $2640, it would only be $2560 if he instead starts his benefits retroactive to January 2017.
You may want to strongly consider running the maximization software available on this website before deciding when to start drawing your benefits. Especially if you are married or have been in the past, you may have filing options that you haven’t yet considered.
What Is The Maximum Amount Of Retroactive Pay That I Can Receive
The SSA caps your retroactive pay at 12 months. In other words, you cannot become disabled and seek SSDI 5 years later and expect the SSA to pay you for all of that time. So, given the 5 month waiting period, in order to receive the maximum amount of retroactive pay you would have to have been disabled for 17 months or more before your application date. The SSA would deduct the 5 month waiting period and then pay you for 12 months of retroactive pay.
As an example of how your EOD and application date determine your retroactive pay amount, lets look at the following example:
Say that your EOD is January 1. You would become eligible for benefits on June 1, or 5 months later. If you applied for SSDI on December 1, then you would be entitled to retroactive from June 1 to December 1. Lets say, however, that you applied for benefits on March 1. Although you were disabled at the time you applied for benefits, you are not eligible for benefits during this time because it falls during your 5 month waiting period. Therefore, because you did not become eligible for benefits until after your application date, you are not entitled to retroactive pay.
All of these dates and terms can be confusing, so we encourage you to review multiple examples of these terms being used in practice so that you can become familiar with them. For an extensive list of examples, please see our article Back Pay vs. Retroactive Pay.
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