Who Is Eligible For Ssi
Anyone may apply for SSI. The SSI program provides monthly payments to people who:
- Are at least age 65 or blind or disabled.
- Have limited income .
- Have limited resources .
- Are U.S. citizens, nationals of the U.S., or some noncitizens.
- Reside in one of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, or the Northern Mariana Islands. Exception: The children of military parent assigned to permanent duty outside the U.S. and certain students temporarily abroad may receive SSI payments outside the U.S.
The Bleak Future Of Social Security
Aggravated by the COVID pandemic, the Social Security trust fund most Americans rely on for their retirement will run out of money in 12 years, one year sooner than expected, according to the annual Social Security 2021 Trustees Report published on August 31, 2021. The pandemic also threatens to shrink retirement payments and increase health-care costs for older Americans, according to the Trustees.
The Treasury Department oversees two Social Security funds: Old-Age and Survivors Insurance and Disability Insurance Trust Funds. These funds are intended to provide a source of income to former workers who have retired at the end of their careers or to those who cannot work due to a disability, respectively.
Social Security officials said that the Old-Age and Survivors trust fund is now able to pay scheduled benefits until 2033, one year earlier than reported last year. The Disability Insurance fund is estimated to be adequately funded through 2057, eight years earlier than in the report published in 2020.
In a press briefing, senior Biden administration officials said that a COVID-related spike in deaths among retirement-age Americans in 2020 helped keep the programs costs lower than projected. They also noted, however, that the long-term effects of the COVID pandemic on the Social Security trust funds is harder to project as costs and revenues return to their extended forecasts.
Dependent Parent Over 62
To apply as a dependent parent that was receiving more than half of their support from the deceased worker you need to provide the follwoing:
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How Much Can You Expect To Get
Your Social Security retirement benefit payment is based on how much you made during your working years. The more you earned, the more you’ll get when you retire.
Your Social Security retirement benefit payment is also affected by the age at which you decide to retire. You can retire as early as age 62, but if you retire before your full retirement age, your benefits will be permanently reduced, based on your age. For example, if you retire at age 62, your benefit would be about 25 percent lower than what it would be if you waited until you reach full retirement age.
You also need to remember that monthly premiums for Medicare Part B are usually deducted from monthly Social Security benefits. Retirement is a great time to look into the pros and cons of a private Medicare Advantage plan.
Retirement benefits are based on the recipients lifetime earnings in work in which they paid Social Security taxes. Higher income translates to a bigger benefit, up to a point. The amount to which retirees are entitled is modified by other factors, most crucially the age at which they first claim benefits.
For reference, the estimated average Social Security retirement benefit in 2021 is $1,543 a month. The maximum benefitthe most an individual retiree can getis $3,148 a month for someone who files for Social Security in 2021 at their full retirement age.
Who Can Receive Survivors Benefits
Widows and widowers, divorced spouses, children, stepchildren, and other family members could be eligible for Survivors Benefits. In some cases, the individual must prove they are related to the deceased or prove they are caring for the deceaseds child.
If you are already receiving any sort of Social Security Benefits or payments, you will need to apply for Survivors Benefits separately. Social Security will then see if you should receive a higher payment.
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Why Waiting May Make Sense
Waiting until your FRA to apply for Social Security can increase the amount you receive in benefits each month. You will receive an 8% increase in your benefit payment for every year you delay receiving benefits. If you can put off receiving Social Security payments until age 70, that could add up to an almost 25% increase in the amount you receive each month.
Take some time to consider whether applying for Social Security benefits to begin at age 62 or at any age after that best helps you fund your retirement in the most practical way. The Social Security Administration can provide you with financial figures that will assist you in your decision-making process. Taking a hard look at the financial implications of retiring at various ages and at your personal situation will allow you to enjoy greater financial flexibility during your retirement years.
What Questions Will Ss Ask Me When I Apply For Death Benefits
You will be asked:
- Your Social Security number and your name
- The deceased persons name, gender, birthday, and so on
- The deceased persons date and place of death
- If the deceased worker ever filed for Social Security Benefit, Supplementary Income, or Medicare
- If the deceased person ever served in the military. If so, the details of their service.
- If the deceased person was not able to work due to an illness, condition, or injury during the 14 months before their death
- If the deceased person worked 7 years or more for the railroad
- Name, dates of birth, SSN, and other information of any previous spouses of the deceased person.
- Names, birthdays, and information of any children 19 or under or disabled before the age of 22.
- The deceased persons earnings
- If the deceased person has a parent who relied on them
- If you were living with the deceased person at the time of death
If you are the persons surviving spouse, you will also be asked:
- If you have been unable to work for any reason
- If you have applied for any benefits, medicare, or Supplementary Security Income.
- Name, date, birth, and any other info of your previous spouses.
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Selecting A Benefit Start Date
The application will also ask you what date you want your benefits to start. A benefits estimator is built into the application to help you decide.
The SSA pays out benefits the month after the start date you request. For example, if you indicate that you want your benefits to start in September, you’ll receive your first check in October.
Keep in mind that the amount on your benefit checks will depend on the age when you start collecting. The longer you can wait to start taking your payments, the more you will get each month. However, while you are not required to start receiving social security by age 70, your benefit will no longer increase by delaying the start date after that time.
How To Apply For Social Security Benefits At Age 62
- If you are planning to retire at age 62, Social Security benefits can help to fund this dream. Here are some facts about early applications for Social Security.
Early retirement is a dream for many people. Social Security benefits can be an important way of achieving that dream. Understanding the application process and the consequences of early retirement on your Social Security benefits can help you make the most practical decisions about this source of income in retirement.
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What Are Death Benefits
The Death Benefit is a one-time lump-sum payment for the spouse of the deceased.
The Death Benefit will be paid to the surviving spouse if they lived with their deceased partner before they died, or if they lived apart but were receiving Social Security Benefits from their partner.
If there is no living spouse of the deceased the payment will be made to a child who is eligible to receive the benefits.
The lump-sum payment will be $255.
Some Publications That Will Give You More Information On Disability Benefits
The Disability Starter Kit will help you get ready for your disability interview or online application. Kits are available for adults and for children under age 18.
The starter kits provide information about the specific documents and the information that we will request from you.
The kits also provide general information about the disability programs and our decision-making process.
Here are some additional resources with information on disability benefits:
- Disability Evaluation Under Social Security – Medical criteria for evaluating Social Security disability claims
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How Can I Get A Social Security Statement That Shows A Record Of My Earnings And An Estimate Of My Future Benefits
You can get your personal Social Security Statement online by using your mySocial Security account. If you dont yet have an account, you can easily create one. Your online Statement gives you secure and convenient access to your earnings records. It also shows estimates for retirement, disability and survivors benefits you and your family may be eligible for. To set up or use your account to get your online Social Security Statement, go to . We also mail paper Statements to workers age 60 and older three months before their birthday if they dont receive Social Security benefits and dont yet have a mySocial Security account. Workers who dont want to wait for their scheduled mailing can request their Social Security Statement by following these instructions. The Statement will arrive by mail in four to six weeks.
Calculate The Best Time To Start Social Security
If you are confused about when to start, you can use the Social Security Explorer part of the NewRetirement Retirement Planner to compare your monthly income and maximum lifetime payout at different ages.
Or, you might consider the following rules of thumb:
- Take Early: The only people who should consider taking their Social Security early are those who absolutely need the money immediately, or those who do not expect to live for very long, due to illness
- Take at Full Retirement Age: Should you have reason to believe that you will not live past the age of 80, then generally speaking you will maximize your social security benefits if you take them when you reach your Full Retirement Age.
- Wait as Long as Possible: On the other hand, if you are confident that you will live past the age of 80 or 85, then most experts recommend that you defer your social security for as long as you can , so as to maximize the benefits you receive from it.
- Other: If you have dependent children, the additional benefits you receive for them might make filing when you are younger worthwhile.
It can also be a very good idea to have an overall retirement plan before you decide when to start your Social Security benefits. The NewRetirement Retirement Planner can help you assess all of your sources of retirement income and whether or not you will have enough to cover your expenses. This tool was recently named a best retirement calculator by the American Association of Individual Investors .
Social Security Expands Its Online Benefit Application To Include Spouse’s Benefits
- The Social Security Administration has expanded its online Benefit Application, the online application that has allowed users to apply for Social Security Retirement benefits since November 2000, to include the ability to apply for Social Security Spouse’s benefits.
- Effective April 2001, wives and husbands of individuals applying for retirement benefits may also apply for spouse’s benefits online.
- Approximately 700,000 people apply for spouse’s benefits annually.
- Approximately 47 percent of those who apply for spouse’s benefits are also eligible for a retirement benefit based on their own work. By using the Internet application process, these individuals will only need to complete and sign one application for both benefits.
- The Internet application allows individuals to apply for their retirement and spouse’s benefits at their convenience.
- Interested individuals can now apply for Social Security retirement and spouse’s benefits online at www.ssa.gov — Social Security Online — Social Security’s Internet site or
- They can go directly to www.ssa.gov/applytoretire, the location of the online Benefit Application form.
- To use this service, people must be 61 years and nine months or older and plan to startreceiving benefits within four months. SSA advises people to file for benefits three months before they want their benefits to begin.
- Applicants must meet certain criteria to apply for benefits using the online application:
- Agree to receive their benefits by direct deposit.
If Health Problems Force You To Retire Early
Sometimes health problems force people to retire early. If you cannot work because of health problems, you should consider applying for Social Security disability benefits. The amount of the disability benefit is the same as a full, unreduced retirement benefit. If you are receiving Social Security disability benefits when you reach full retirement age, those benefits will be converted to retirement benefits.
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Documents You May Need To Provide
We may ask you to provide documents to show that you are eligible, such as:
- Birth certificate or other proof of birth
- Proof of U.S. citizenship or lawful alien status if you were not born in the United States
- U.S. military discharge paper if you had military service before 1968
- W-2 forms and/or self-employment tax returns for last year.
- Final divorce decree, if applying as a divorced spouse and
We accept photocopies of W-2 forms, self-employment tax returns or medical documents, but we must see the original of most other documents, such as your birth certificate.
Do not delay applying for benefits because you do not have all the documents. We will help you get them.
The Disability Application Process
Whether you apply online, by phone, or in person, the disability benefits application process follows these general steps:
- You gather the information and documents you need to apply. We recommend you print and review the . It will help you gather the information you need to complete the application.
- You complete and submit your application.
- We review your application to make sure you meet some for disability benefits.
- We check whether you worked enough years to qualify.
- We evaluate any current work activities.
- We process your application and forward your case to the Disability Determination Services office in your state.
- This State agency makes the disability determination decision.
To learn more about who decides if you are disabled, read our publication .
Once You’ve Applied
Once we receive your application, well review it and contact you if we have questions. We might request additional documents from you before we can proceed
Look For Our Response
Youll receive a letter in the mail with our decision. If you included information about other family members when you applied, well let you know if they may be able to receive benefits on your record.
Check The Status
You can check the status of your application online using your personal mySocial Security account. If you are unable to check your status online, you can call us 1-800-772-1213 from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Appeal A Decision
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The Basics About Disability Benefits
The SSDI program pays benefits to you and certain if you are insured. This means that you worked long enough and recently enough – and paid Social Security taxes on your earnings. The program pays benefits to adults and children with disabilities who have limited income and resources.
While these two programs are different, the medical requirements are the same. If you meet the non-medical requirements, monthly benefits are paid if you have a medical condition expected to last at least one year or result in death.
What Documents Do You Need For Social Security
There are various documents that you may need to provide to receive social security. Some of these documents include:
- Social security card
- Proof of US Citizenship or alien status if you were born outside the US.
- Copy of W-2 Form and/or self-employment tax return for the past year.
- Copy of military papers if you had military service before 1968.
- Bank account information
- Spouseâs social security number and date of birth if you are applying as a former spouse.
If you had submitted some of these documents for an earlier Social Security or Medicare claim, you wonât be required to provide the specific documents again.
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When Would My Survivors Benefits End
If you are a widow or widower your benefits should last for life.
If you receive Mother or Fathers Survivor Benefits those benefits would end if:
If you receive child Survivors Benefits those benefits would end when you turn 18. If you are studying full time, your benefits could continue to 19 years and 2 months old. Child benefits also apply to step-children, grandchildren, and step-grandchildren.
If you get married that would end your childs survivors benefits in most cases.
If you receive dependent parent Survivors Benefits, these benefits are paid for life unless the parent remarries or if you start receiving Retirement Benefits that are larger than the Survivors Benefits.
I hope the information in this article was helpful for you. If you have any questions or comments leave them in the comments section below.
David Duford is the owner of SSAOffices.com. He owns numerous businesses including life and Medicare agencies, dedicated to helping seniors with their insurance needs. David resides in Chattanooga, Tennessee with his wife and four chlidren.