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.
Statement Of Contributions To The Qubec Pension Plan
Your contribution information will be on your CPP Statement of Contributions if:
- you have contributed to the CPP
- you have contributed to the Québec Pension Plan , and
- you live outside of Québec
You must contact Retraite Québec for a Statement of Participation in the QPP if:
- you have contributed to the QPP only
- you have contributed to the CPP and the QPP but currently live in the province of Québec, or
- you live outside of Canada and your last contribution was made to the QPP
You can write to them at the following address:
Determine If You Need To Apply
We may send you a letter to let you know that you will receive the Old Age Security pension.
You will need to apply for the Old Age Security pension if:
- you get a letter from us asking you to apply
- information in the letter we send you is incorrect
If you did not receive any letter about the Old Age Security pension the month after you turned 64, contact us to find out if you need to apply.
Don’t Miss: Socialsecurity.
Apply For The Old Age Security Pension And The Guaranteed Income Supplement
To apply online, you must:
- be at least one month past your 64th birthday
- not be receiving the OAS pension
- not yet have applied for the OAS pension
- live in Canada
- not have a legal representative on your account
If you cant apply online:
Note:Gather the information you need before you begin. Once you start the application, you cant save it and continue later. Your session will expire after 20 minutes of inactivity. This time starts when your computer mouse stops moving and resets when it is moved.
How To See Your Social Security Benefits Online
Quickly check your Social Security statement online instead of waiting for a letter to arrive in the mail.
Katie is a Writer at CNET, covering all things how-to. When she’s not writing, she enjoys playing in golf scrambles, practicing yoga and spending time on the lake.
Whether you’ve been receiving Social Security benefits for decades, or you’re just curious to see how much money you could get when you retire, having online access to your benefits is a must. To view your statements and future benefits from your phone or laptop, you’ll need to set up a My Social Security account.
Here’s how to access your Social Security benefits online, and the information you’ll be able to see. If you’ve got a while before you retire, here’s the easiest way to save for retirement. If you receive benefits now, here’s the Social Security payment schedule for June.
Recommended Reading: How To Track Someone Using Ssn
What Is A Social Security Award Letter
A Social Security award letter is the document that is used to notify you that your application for Social Security benefits has been approved and you will receive payments. The Social Security Administration also issues another type of document, a benefit verification letter, which includes more details about your benefit and can serve as proof of your income from Social Security.
A Social Security award letter:
Identifies that you will begin to receive benefits.
Lays out the next steps to take to receive benefits.
Is an important document to keep in your records.
Can be used later to show you are eligible for benefits.
Heres a look at when you might receive a Social Security award letter and how to get the document.
What Is a Social Security Award Letter?
The Social Security Administration issues Social Security award letters to people who have applied for benefits after their application has been approved. Award letters are official documents that show information regarding your qualifications to receive a certain amount of money, says Joseph Morrison, a senior associate attorney at Mullen & Mullen in Dallas.
How to Get a Social Security Award Letter
The first step involves applying for Social Security benefits. You may be able to fill out an application online, call to speak to a representative or go in person at your local Social Security office.
When Do You Receive a Social Security Award Letter?
More from U.S. News
Apply For Social Security Benefits
Guess what? You’re now ready to apply for your Social Security benefits. It’s recommended that you apply a few months before you want your benefit checks to start arriving. If you want to start collecting them at age 62, you can apply when you’re 61 years and nine months old.
When you approach the age at which you want to start collecting those checks, there are three ways that you can apply for your benefits:
In person: To apply in person, just visit your nearest Social Security office. The SSA offers a tool to help you locate the nearest office. For maximum convenience, it’s best to call first and make an appointment.
Over the phone: To apply over the phone, call 800-772-1213.
Online: To apply online, click over to the Social Security website.
The SSA describes the online process like this:
Social Security offers an online retirement application that you can complete in as little as 15 minutes… In most cases, once your application is submitted electronically, you’re done. There are no forms to sign and usually no documentation is required. Social Security will process your application and contact you if any further information is needed.
Before you actually apply for your benefits, it’s helpful to know more about what to expect of the process and what you should be ready to do.
Understand What Social Security Is
Let’s start with a little history. President Franklin Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act into law on Aug. 14, 1935. As early as 1929, months before the big crash on Wall Street that preceded the Great Depression, Roosevelt stated: “No greater tragedy exists in modern civilization than the aged, worn-out worker who after a life of ceaseless effort and useful productivity must look forward for his declining years to a poorhouse. A modern social consciousness demands a more humane and efficient arrangement.”
Over the years, Social Security has become the biggest source of income for most older Americans. About nine out of 10 folks 65 and older receive benefits, and it makes up about 33% of their income, on average. Among single retirees, 69% get more than half their income from Social Security. For a sobering 21% of married retirees and 44% of single ones, Social Security checks make up at least 90% of their income. In 2018, some 63 million Americans will receive roughly $1 trillion in Social Security benefits.
Some view Social Security benefits as a freebie from the government, but they’re forgetting that most paychecks in America have 6.2% of pay withheld for Social Security tax — with employers chipping in another 6.2%, for a total of 14.4% of our pay going toward Social Security. Those funds from people who are currently working are used to provide benefits for those collecting retirement benefits — people who have paid into the system previously.
Use It To Get Benefits Estimates Replacement Cards And Other Vital Services
by Kenneth Terrell and Patrick J. Kiger, AARP, Updated October 6, 2021
En español | Whether you’re already receiving benefits or are years away from retirement, it’s important to keep an eye on your account with the Social Security Administration to ensure you will collect what you have earned. But with local offices largely closed because of the COVID-19 pandemic and lengthy wait times on the phone help line, tracking and managing your benefits can be difficult if you haven’t set up an online My Social Security account.
This story was produced in collaboration with Senior Planet, which helps people 60 and older learn technology skills to reach their goals, to find community and to thrive in the digital world. Join us for 50-plus free virtual programs each week to learn about a wide range of topics, such as podcasts, telemedicine, saving money, getting in shape and making friends.
Taking a few minutes to create this account will give you more control of your benefits while saving you time. Now that the SSA has mostly stopped sending out paper benefit statements, an online account is the primary way people can keep track of their retirement benefits. As of July 2021, nearly 60 million people have My Social Security accounts, according to SSA data. You can use your account to:
It’s important to note that while you cannot use a My Social Security account directly to apply for benefits, there is a link to start receiving retirement benefits on the SSA website.
Also Check: How To Find My Son’s Social Security Number
How To Receive Federal Benefits
To begin receiving your federal benefits, like Social Security or veterans benefits, you must sign up for electronic payments with direct deposit.
If You Have a Bank or Credit Union Account:
- Call the Go Direct Helpline at .
If You Don’t have a Bank or Credit Union Account:
- Direct Express debit card – a pre-paid debit card. Get help by calling the Go Direct Helpline at .
Make Changes to an Existing Direct Deposit Account:
Learn how to make changes to an existing direct deposit account. You also may contact the federal agency that pays your benefit for help with your enrollment.
How To Get Started
To set up a My Social Security account, you must be at least 18 and have a Social Security number, a valid email address and a U.S. mailing address. If you want to add an extra layer of security to your account, you will also need some form of identification or financial information, such as a drivers license or tax return. Make sure that you have all of this information handy.
Heres how to set up your account.
1. Go to the My Social Security sign-up page and click on Create an Account . On the next screen click on the “Create a new account” button, then on “Sign in with LOGIN.GOV” at the top of the succeeding page. is a secure, single sign-in service members of the public can use to access accounts with participating government agencies, including Social Security.
2. Create your log-in. On the Login.gov sign-in page, click on “Create an account.” On successive screens, enter an email address and language preference, confirm your email and create a password thats at least 12 characters long.
As a general rule, longer passwords are better. Another way to strengthen them is to use a favorite phrase from a book or movie and swap in numbers and symbols for some of the letters. And dont use one youve used for other websites.
If you choose the text/phone option, youll go through that code process as part of this initial sign-in.
Congratulations! You have successfully created your online My Social Security account.
You May Like: How Much Ssi Will I Get When I Retire
If You’re Not Sure Why You Received A Payment
If you receive a check or direct deposit payment from the Treasury Department and do not know what its for, contact the regional financial center that issued it.
If you received a check, look for the RFCs city and state at the top center. Then contact that RFC to find out which federal agency authorized the payment. It will be one of these:
If you received payment byelectronic funds transfer , or direct deposit, follow the directions under Find Information About a Payment.
Use the Treasury Check Verification System to verify that the check is legitimate and issued by the government.
General Information About Social Security
If you have worked less than 40 quarters under Social Security in the United States, but also contributed to an equivalent social program in a country with which the United States has a bilateral social security agreement, you may still be able to obtain some retirement benefits from Social Security. See: International agreements and totalization benefits. If you receive a foreign pension, or a pension from work in the United States not covered by Social Security , your Social Security benefits may be reduced by application of the Windfall Elimination Provision . Note that WEP does not apply if you have “substantially” contributed to Social Security for 30 years, and is alleviated if you have contributed to Social Security for more than 20 years. More about WEP and how it affects Americans abroad is on this ACA webpage here.Do you believe your Social Security benefits have been unfairly reduced by the Windfall Elimination Provision? Social Security will give you 60 days to appeal their decisions. Full information on the appeals process here: www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10041.pdf
NRAs who are entitled to Social Security retirement benefits and who reside in countries with no bilaterial social security agreement with the US may have their benefits cut off if they remain more than six months outside the US.
Apply For Cpp Disability Benefits
To apply online, you must:
- be over the age of 18 and younger than 66 years
- have made CPP contributions
- have a Canadian address
Note: The Online CPP disability benefits application lets you save the progress made on your application after each completed section. You can come back to it within 90 days. This allows you to finish your application in multiple sessions.
You will not be able to apply online if:
- you live in Quebec and have contributed to both the CPP and QPP
- you are already in pay for CPP disability benefits
- you do not have a Canadian address
- your disability benefit was terminated because you returned back to work less than 2 years ago
- you have a payee on file
- you are under the control of a trustee
If any of the above applies to you, you will need to:
After you apply, you may sign in to your MSCA at any time to submit documents in support of your application for CPP disability benefits.
How Do Benefits Work And How Can I Qualify
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
Also Check: Social Security Paid In
Think About Whether You’ll Be Working While Collecting Benefits
If you plan to still be working a little in retirement, you may need to crunch a few more numbers. That’s because if your income passes a certain level while you’re receiving Social Security benefits, those benefits may end up taxed. You will never be taxed on more than 85% of your Social Security benefits, but you could be taxed on up to 50% or 85% of them. If Social Security benefits make up all or the vast majority of your income, you likely won’t be taxed on them at all.
To determine whether you’ll have to pay taxes on Social Security benefits, you need to calculate your “combined” income, which is your adjusted gross income plus non-taxable interest plus half of your Social Security benefits. The table below shows the taxation you can expect:
Up to 85%
Data source: Social Security Administration.
Notice the words “up to” in the table above. They’re there because the rules aren’t simple. As my colleague Matt Frankel has explained: “The formula to figure out how much of your Social Security income may be taxable is rather complicated, and you can see an example of it on page seven of IRS Publication 915. Or, better yet, if you have information about your other income, you can use a Social Security tax calculator to calculate this amount.” He offers a handy calculator in his article on the topic.
Once you reach your full retirement age, though, you can collect Social Security benefits and can earn any amount of money, and your benefits won’t be reduced.
I Want To Sign Up For Only Part A Or Both Part A & Part B
Once youre eligible to sign up for Medicare , you have 2 options:
Once you sign up , youll get a welcome package with your Medicare card.
Recommended Reading: Who Gets Social Security Checks