Wednesday, August 10, 2022

How To Start Social Security Process

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How To Start The Social Security Disability Application Process

How to Start Filing for Disability

Applying for Social Security Disability? Social Security Disability is a federally funded program created to help you when you are unable to work because of a disability. Depending on your eligibility, you may also be able to receive benefits for your spouse, minor children, or your disabled children. Before filing your initial application, there are several points you should know about the process.

For everybody who is making an application for Social Security Disability you should first be aware what you are really up against because the majority of Social Security disability insurance applications are initially denied. If your claim is initially denied, you only have 60 days to apply for reconsideration, so you need to begin working on it immediately. So, the question ultimately is, should you hire a lawyer to help with your initial application? Or, should you wait and see if it is accepted or denied?

To assist you with your decision, you can contact your Social Security Disability Center as they are there to help with any questions you may have will be able to point you in the right direction as to whether you should initially hire a lawyer.

Filing Online

If you do choose to file without any assistance, the easiest and fastest way of filing for Social Security benefits is to fill out your application online and then submit all necessary documents to the Social Security Administration office according to the instructions provided on your application.

Filing in Person

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.

What Information And Documents Do You Need To Apply

To apply for Social Security, youll have to provide the SSA with basic identifying information, such as your birthdate, Social Security number, number of dependents and citizenship status. Youll also need to provide work information, including your employers name and address and how much money you earned over the past two years. Documents you may need to provide include:

  • your original 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
  • a copy of your U.S. military service paper and
  • a copy of your W-2 form and/or self-employment tax return for last year

The Social Security Administration will contact you if you need to provide any additional information.

Also Check: How Much Will I Make From Social Security

To Wait Or Not To Wait

  • Consider taking benefits earlier if
  • Consider waiting to take benefits if
  • Consider taking benefits earlier if You are no longer working and can’t make ends meet without your benefits.
  • Consider waiting to take benefits if You are still working and make enough to impact the taxability of your benefits.
  • Consider taking benefits earlier if You are in poor health and don’t expect the surviving member of the household to make it to average life expectancy.
  • Consider waiting to take benefits if You are in good health and expect to exceed average life expectancy.
  • Consider taking benefits earlier if You are the lower-earning spouse and your higher-earning spouse can wait to file for a higher benefit.
  • Consider waiting to take benefits if You are the higher-earning spouse and want to be sure your surviving spouse receives the highest possible benefit.

What If I Take Benefits Early

The ins and outs of applying for Social Security benefits

If you choose to receive your Social Security check up to 36 months before your full retirement age, be aware that your benefit is permanently reduced by five-ninths of 1% for each month.

If you start more than 36 months before your full retirement age, the benefit is further reduced by five-twelfths of 1% per month, for the rest of retirement.

For example, let’s assume that you stop working at age 62. If your full retirement age is 66 and 2 months you elect to start benefits at age 62, the reduced benefit calculation is based on 50 months. This means that the reduction for the first 36 months is 20% and 5.83% for the remaining 14 months. Overall, your benefits would be permanently reduced by 25.83%.

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Earn Ssa Work Credits In Some Countries

You may not have enough credits from your work in the United States to qualify for retirement benefits. But, you may be able to count your work credits from another country. The SSA has agreements with 24 countries. If you earned credits in one of those countries, they can help you qualify for U.S. benefits.

How Long Does It Take To Process Social Security Retirement Benefits

Social Security recommends applying for retirement benefits three months before you want them to begin, because processing can take two months or longer. In most cases, you can apply as early as four months in advance. Retirement payments arrive one month after the qualifying month, so you’ll receive the deposit for a June start date in July. Social Security approves your application 30 to 60 days before it makes the first payment.

Read Also: Social Security Benefit Dates

Start The Ssi Application Process By Filling Out & Submitting Your Claim Paperwork To The Ssa

When you start the SSI application process, there are three ways to file your claim with the Social Security Administration.

  • Your first option is simply picking up the phone and . The best time to do this is first thing in the morning right when they open. This method saves you from spending several hours waiting in long lines to speak with someone there. When you call, youll have the option to complete your interview for benefits over the phone instead of in person.
  • The second method involves visiting your local Social Security office. While this option is sometimes faster, you may also wait so long the office closes before anyone can see you. Depending on where you live, you may be able to make an appointment. Call ahead to see if your local office provides this option before you go there in person. If you dont believe you need legal assistance or to speak with your local SSA office first, choose option three.
  • This third method for starting the SSI application process is to apply for disability benefits online.
  • Related: SSI Interview Questions You Must Answer to Get Your Monthly Benefits

    You May Qualify For Legal Assistance

    Walking you through the Social Security Disability process

    Still have questions? Consider speaking to a SSD attorney or advocate before starting the SSI application process. If youre initially denied, you can always get professional legal help filing your appeal. Since every lawyer in our network gives contingency-based help, itll cost you $0 unless you win benefits. In fact, having a lawyer file your paperwork nearly triples your odds of winning benefits right away!

    Ready to see if you may qualify? Click the button below to start your free online benefits evaluation now!

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    A Guide On Taking Social Security

    The decision of when to take Social Security is highly dependent on your circumstances. You can start taking it as early as age 62 , wait until you’ve reached full retirement age or even until age 70. While there’s no “correct” claiming age for everybody, the rule of thumb is that if you can afford to wait, delaying Social Security can pay off over a long retirement. Here are some of the rules and guidelines.

    Average The Highest 35 Years

    The Social Security benefits calculation uses your highest 35 years of earnings to calculate your average monthly earnings. If you do not have 35 years of earnings, a zero will be used in the calculation, which will lower the average. In the table below, the highest 35 years are listed in Column G.

    Total the highest 35 years of indexed earnings, and divide this total by 420, which is the number of months in a 35-year work history, to find the Average Indexed Monthly Earnings.

    For our example worker, who was born in 1953 and turned 60 in 2013, the highest 35 years of wages total $1,919,040. Divide by 420 to get an AIME of $4,569.

    How to Calculate Your AIME for Social Security Benefits

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    Social Security Bend Points

    The Social Security benefits formula is designed to replace a higher proportion of income for low-income earners than for high-income earners. To do that, the formula uses what are called bend points.” These bend points are adjusted for inflation each year.

    Bend points from the year you turn 62 are used to calculate your Social Security retirement benefits. The example in the table below uses 2020 bend points. It works like this:

    • You take 90% of the first $906 of AIME.
    • You take 32% of the next $5,785 of AIME.
    • You take 15% of any amount over that $5,785.
    • You total those three numbers.

    The result is your primary insurance amount, or PIA, the amount you will receive if you begin benefits at your Full Retirement Age .

    Your PIA is rounded to the next lowest dime, and your benefit amount is rounded to the next lowest dollar.

    Technically, your PIA is calculated, rounded to the next lowest dime, and then any inflation adjustments are applied. That number is then rounded to the next lowest dime. Then any increase or decrease based on age is applied. That number is then rounded down to the next lowest dollar.

    You can see current and historical bend points and the current year’s bend points on the Bend Formula Bend Points page of the Social Security Administration’s website.

    In the example in the table below, you can see how the AIME calculated in the previous step was plugged into the bend point formula to calculate the PIA.

    If Health Problems Force You To Retire Early

    Apply For SSN â Process For Newcomers To USA

    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.

    Read Also: How Much Is Social Security At Age 62

    What Is A Social Security Card

    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.

    Timing And Your Health Coverage

    Your health insurance coverage can also play a role in deciding when to claim Social Security benefits. Do you have a health savings account to which you would like to keep contributing? If so, note that if youre age 65 or older, then receiving Social Security benefits requires you to sign up for Medicare Part A, and once you sign up for Medicare Part A, youll no longer be allowed to add funds to your HSA.

    The SSA also cautions that even if you delay receiving Social Security benefits until after age 65, you might still need to apply for Medicare benefits within three months of turning 65 to avoid paying higher premiums for life for Medicare Part B and Part D.

    In 2022, the average monthly premium for Part D will be $33 per month versus $31.47 in 2021. If you enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan, the average monthly premium will be $19 per month in 2022 versus $21.22 in 2021. However, if you are still receiving health insurance from your or your spouses employer, you might not yet have to enroll in Medicare.

    As of Oct. 16, 2021, Social Security offices are only open by appointment, and to get an appointment you need to be in a limited, critical situation. Most people will have to transact their business online, by phone, or through the mail.

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    What If I Delay Taking My Benefits

    If you retire sometime between your full retirement age and age 70, you typically earn a “delayed retirement” credit . For example, say you were born in 1955 and your full retirement age is 66 and 2 months. If you started your benefits at age 68, you would receive a credit of 8% per year multiplied by approximately two . This makes your benefit ~15% higher than the amount you would have received at age 66.

    That higher baseline lasts for the rest of your retirement and serves as the basis for future increases linked to inflation. While it’s important to consider your personal circumstancesit’s not always possible to wait, particularly if you are in poor health or can’t afford to delaythe benefits of waiting can be significant.

    If you decide to wait past age 65, you may still need to sign up for Medicare. In some circumstances your Medicare coverage may be delayed and cost more if you do not sign up at age 65.

    Filing An Initial Application

    How Long Does the Social Security Disability Process Take ?

    To begin the application process, you will need to determine where you want to apply for disability benefits. There are a few different ways which you can apply. If you are filing for SSDI, then you can fill out an online application. You can also make an appointment to file your SSDI claim at an SSA office or call and apply over the phone. Those applying for SSI can begin their application online, but will need to make an appointment to complete the application in person or over the phone.

    Wherever you choose to apply, you should consult the SSAs disability checklist first to make sure you have all necessary documentation. Look over the Blue Book to make sure you have enough medical evidence to support your claim.

    Most claims are denied because of a lack of supporting evidence and documentation. You should make sure Disability Determination Services has access to all your medical records. These records should be detailed and include details about your conditions and all the limitations and restrictions that you suffer because of your medical issues. It should also detail any treatments and your response to those treatments.

    Read Also: How Much Will My Social Security Be At Age 65

    How Inflation Impacts Your Pia

    Your PIA is calculated at age 62. If you wait beyond age 62, cost-of-living adjustments will be applied to your PIA for each year afterward.

    If you have already had most of your 35 years of earnings, and you are near age 62 today, the age 70 benefit amount you see on your Social Security statement will likely be higher due to these cos- of-living adjustments. Many people do not account for this when doing their own calculations, which can lead them to think that taking Social Security early is a better deal, when waiting is often the better deal.

    In the table below, our hypothetical worker, born in 1954, is eligible for full retirement at age 66. The column on the right shows the effect of inflation for waiting beyond age 62 to take their benefits.

    Effect of Age on Claiming Benefits

    How Start Stop Start Works

    Social Security expert Larry Kotlikoff, an economics professor at Boston University, named the start, stop, start Social Security approach. The strategy allowed you to receive a benefit at age 62 for a while, suspend benefits, and resume them again later.

    The decision to postpone receiving benefits past full retirement age will result in delayed retirement credits. Your benefits will grow 8% each year you postpone taking them until you reach age 70.

    This approach may be a way to maximize lifetime Social Security payments for some, but there are caveats. Its best to use a calculator, such as the one provided by the Social Security Administration, to help understand how this strategy might work for you.

    There is no advantage to suspending benefits past age 70.

    Prior to the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, individuals used to be able to collect Social Security benefits at age 62, suspend benefits, and restart them later. Now, if you collect any time before your full retirement age, you have only 12 months to change your mindand if you do, you’ll have to pay back the monies received. In addition, you can only do this once, and it is considered a withdrawal of benefits by the Social Security Administration.

    The above scenarios would be viable for someone who initially needs the benefits, but later gets a job or unexpected windfall, for example.

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    Applying For Social Security Benefits

  • 1Apply online. There are a few different ways in which you can make your claim for Social Security retirement benefits. The most straightforward of these is to apply online through the SSA website: . Completing this application should take less than 15 minutes and will provide the basic information required in order to begin processing your claim. This includes questions about you, your family, and your work.XTrustworthy SourceUS Social Security AdministrationIndependent U.S. government agency that administers Social Security and related informationGo to source
  • With this option you can begin whenever you like, and you don’t need to make an appointment or wait in a line.
  • You don’t have to complete the entire form all in one go. You can save your progress part of the way through.XTrustworthy SourceUS Social Security AdministrationIndependent U.S. government agency that administers Social Security and related informationGo to source
  • Once you have submitted the application it will be reviewed by the SSA.
  • After the review the SSA will contact you if they need any further information or documentation from you.
  • Once they have everything they need, your claim will be processed and you will receive a letter in the mail about the outcome.XTrustworthy SourceSocial Security AdministrationIndependent U.S. government agency responsible for the administration and management of Social SecurityGo to source
  • Your birth certificate or another proof of birth.
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