Is My Spouse Eligible To Receive Social Security Spousal Benefits
Spouses are eligible to receive 50 percent of their spouses full retirement benefit if they wait until they reach full retirement age. If they apply for a spousal retirement benefit before that time, the amount is pro-rated, depending on the age at which the spouse applies. For example:
If a spouse applies for a spousal retirement benefit at age 62 and the full retirement benefit is age 67, the applicant will get 32.5 percent of the spousal benefit.
If a spouse applies for a spousal retirement benefit at age 62 and the full retirement benefit is age 65, the applicant will get 37.5 percent of the spousal benefit.
The benefit increases as ages go up, to a maximum of 50 percent at full retirement age. It should also be noted that only one spouse can apply for a spouses benefit when a couple is married.
In cases of divorce, the divorced spouse can get retirement benefits on the spouses record if the marriage lasted for at least 10 years. To collect this benefit, the spouse must be at least 62 years old and not married. That benefit does not impact the amount a spouse and their current married partner can get.
Getting A Social Security Number For A New Baby
The easiest way to get a Social Security number for your child is at the hospital after they are born when you apply for your childs birth certificate. If you wait to apply for a number at a Social Security office, there may be delays while SSA verifies your childs birth certificate.
Your child will need their own Social Security number so you can:
- Claim your child as a dependent on your income tax return
- Open a bank account in their name
- Get medical coverage for them
- Apply for government services for them
Keep your Social Security card in a safe place to protect yourself from identity theft.
S For Obtaining A Social Security Number
If you want to receive an SSN while studying in the United States, follow these steps:
1. Talk with your DSO about working and training in the United States.
Your DSO will share important information regarding the regulations and requirements for F and M students, and confirm whether you are eligible to apply for an SSN.
2. Verify you are in Active status in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System .
Your SEVIS record must be in Active status for at least two days before applying for an SSN. If you have a record in any other status, you will not be successful in applying for an SSN.
3. Wait 10 days after arriving in the United States before applying for an SSN to allow enough time for your arrival information to update in all government systems.
SSA uses the Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements program to verify your nonimmigrant student status and determine if you are eligible for an SSN. You can use the SAVE Case Check to follow the progress of your SAVE verification check online visit our Checking Your SAVE Case Status for more information.
4. Visit your local SSA office.
You can file your application for an SSN card in person at any SSA office. Be prepared to provide your original documents to prove your age, identity and work-authorized immigration status. All evidence of immigration status and work authorization must be unexpired.
For more information on the types of documents you need to apply for an SSN, refer to the SSA website.
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Claiming Benefits Early Could Leave Your Spouse With Less Money
When you’re single, the Social Security decisions you make can be based on your personal needs and no one else’s. But when you’re married, those choices become more complicated.
Spouses who aren’t entitled to a benefit of their own can’t sign up for benefits until their partner does. And so that might influence your decision of when to file.
Another thing you should know is that once you pass away, your spouse will be entitled to survivors benefits. That will amount to the same benefit you were entitled to while you were alive. And so if you claim Social Security early and reduce your benefit in the process, you’ll end up leaving your spouse with what could be a much lower income stream for life.
How Can A Social Security Agreement Help Me Qualify For Benefits
A social security agreement can help you qualify for benefits by allowing you to combine your periods of contribution or periods of residency in Canada with your periods of contribution or periods of residency in the other country to meet the minimum eligibility criteria. It can also reduce or eliminate restrictions based on citizenship or on payment of pensions abroad.
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The Problem: The Economic Toll From The Pandemic Will Very Likely Affect Social Security Benefits
The initial retirement benefits that Social Security beneficiaries receive in the first year of retirement are determined by a formula that depends, in part, on the growth of average wages in the economy. Due to the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic, the key measure of average wagesthe average wage index is very likely to decline in 2020. As a result, the initial retirement benefits for those who are first eligible to receive benefits in 2022when they reach the age of 62would be significantly less than what was anticipated only months ago, before the pandemic began to exact its economic toll. The effect is very likely to be so significant that workers turning 62 in 2022 would receive initial retirement benefits that are less than those of workers who were born a year earlier and who had essentially the same earnings history. This incongruity is what Social Security experts call a benefit notch. Such a notch would be unfair to the beneficiaries who turn 60 in 2020 and first become eligible to retire in 2022 because benefits are normally expected to grow for each successive cohort of retirees. Moreover, the benefit reduction and notch would have long-lasting consequences, as they not only would affect benefits in the first year of ones retirement but also lower them for every year going forward, as annual benefits are determined by adjusting the initial level for inflation.
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.
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Questions About The Social Security Administration
How Do I Apply For Disability Benefits?
To apply for benefits, contact the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213. They have a TTY phone connection at 1-800-325-0778. You can ask SSA to send you the correct forms, and they can answer questions you may have.
How Do I Apply For Supplemental Security Income ?
To apply for benefits or to ask questions, contact the SSA at 1-800-772-1213. They have a TTY phone connections as well at 1-800-325-0778.
Supplemental Security Income is an income assistance program administered by the Social Security Administration for people who are elderly , blind, or disabled who don’t have many assets and who don’t earn much money
To apply for benefits or to get more information about the SSA retirement program, call 1-800-772-1213. They have a TTY phone connection as well at 1-800-325-0778.
How Do I Apply for Survivors’ Benefits?
A family member or other person responsible for the beneficiary’s affairs should do the following:
How Do I Apply For Medicare Benefits?
If you are already getting Social Security retirement or disability benefits or railroad retirement checks, Social Security will contact you a few months before you become eligible for Medicare and give you the information you need to register.
If you are not already getting checks, you should contact Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 about three months before your 65th Birthday to sign up for Medicare. They also have a TTY phone connection at 1-800-325-0778.
Workers Who Retire In Certain Foreign Countries
U.S. citizens who travel toor live inmost foreign countries after they retire usually can receive Social Security benefits. However, if that country is Azerbaijan, Belarus, Cuba, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, North Korea, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, or Uzbekistan, then the government will not send them Social Security payments. Exceptions may be available in all of these countries except Cuba and North Korea. The governments Payments Abroad Screening Tool is an easy way to check if you will be able to continue receiving Social Security benefits while living abroad or if restrictions will apply.
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How Does The Social Security System Work
Social Security is a pay-as-you-go system. Money paid in by current workers is used to pay the benefits for current retirees. Any money that remains goes into the Social Security Trust Fund, to be used in future years when current contributions wont be sufficient to cover all of the programs obligations.
There are two trust funds: the Old-Age and Survivors Insurance Trust Fund, which pays retirement benefits, and the Disability Insurance Trust Fund. By law, the money in the trust funds is invested in U.S. government securities.
Eligibility For Social Security
For each year of employment, workers accrue credits towards Social Security eligibility. A minimum of 40 Social Security credits must be accrued to be eligible for retirement benefits. Under the current policy, an individual receives one credit for income of $1,360, with a maximum of four credits allowed per year. With only 4 credits allowed per year, a worker must work for 10 years, with a minimum annual income of $5,440 in order to obtain the 40 credits required for full eligibility for Social Security.
NRIs who work for less than ten years or receive less than 40 credits will be ineligible to receive retirement payments through Social Security. For those workers, previous credits will be recorded and can be added to should they decide to resume qualifying work.
Social Security also allows for payment of benefits to dependent and survivors, as long as they themselves lived in the US for a minimum of five years, including:
- Widow or widower, at age 60 or older
- Disabled widow or widower, age 50 or older
- Widow or widower, any age, caring for a child under age 1
- A child under age 18
- A disabled child of any age
- Dependent parents, age 62 or older
Social Security Eligibility Factors: Birth Year Full Retirement Age & Lifetime Income
Everyone can begin receiving Social Security at age 62, but doing so reduces monthly benefits by about 30 percent of the amount dispersed when claiming is deferred until you reach full retirement age.
Full retirement age differs, depending on the year in which you were born. People born in 1937 or earlier reached full retirement age at 65. Anyone born in 1960 or later will not reach full retirement age until 67.
Full Retirement Age:
The older you are when you begin receiving benefits, the higher the monthly payments will be. For people born in 1943 and later, that amounts to an 8 percent increase in payments for each year you delay benefits after your full retirement age.
If you start receiving benefits before you reach your full retirement age and you continue to work, the amount of your benefits may be further reduced, depending on your earnings. However, you will be compensated for that loss after you reach full retirement age.
And if you can wait until you turn 70 to claim, you will receive the maximum monthly benefits. You wont receive any further increase in benefits for waiting past 70.
If you want to know how much you will earn in Social Security benefits when you retire at different ages, you can sign up for an account with the Social Security Administration. And you can find more information to help you decide when to start receiving retirement benefits by using benefits planners at www.socialsecurity.gov/planners.
Can I Claim Spousal Benefits If I’m Divorced
You are eligible for dependents benefits if both you and your former spouse have reached age 62, your marriage lasted at least ten years, and you have been divorced for at least two years. This two-year waiting period does not apply if your former spouse was already collecting retirement benefits before the divorce.
You can collect benefits as soon as your former spouse is eligible for retirement benefits. He or she does not actually have to be collecting those benefits for you to collect your dependents benefits.
If you are collecting dependents benefits on your former spouse’s work record and then marry someone else, you lose your right to those benefits. You may, however, be eligible to collect dependents benefits based on your new spouse’s work record. If you divorce again, you can return to collecting benefits on your first spouse’s record, or on your second spouse’s record if you were married for at least ten years the second time around.
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What Is Your Full Retirement Age
Everyone has an eight-year window during which they can apply for Social Security benefits. The earliest age is 62, and your benefit amount stops rising at age 70. While technically you can wait until after 70 to elect, youd just be turning down free money. Your full retirement age is the age at which youll no longer receive a smaller amount than your primary insurance amount if you choose to elect. For most of the workforce, the full retirement age is 67.
One important thing to keep in mind is that full retirement age is a bit of a misnomer. While its the age at which the SSA will give you your primary insurance amount, its not the age at which you can receive the highest possible benefit. If you work past your FRA, you can increase your benefit, though they max out at age 70.
For decades, everyones full retirement age was the same: age 65. Then, in 1983, the SSA made some tweaks to the program because of concerns that the fund would run dry. Because of those tweaks, the full retirement age is now somewhere between age 66 and age 67, depending on the year you were born. You can refer to the table below to determine your FRA:
|A Breakdown of Full Retirement Ages|
|Your Birth Year|
|67 years old|
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Claim That Politicians Exempted Themselves From The Tax
Critics of Social Security have said that the politicians who created Social Security exempted themselves from having to pay the Social Security tax. When the federal government created Social Security, all federal employees, including the president and members of Congress, were exempt from having to pay the Social Security tax, and they received no Social Security benefits. This law was changed by the Social Security Amendments of 1983, which brought within the Social Security system all members of Congress, the president and the vice president, federal judges, and certain executive-level political appointees, as well as all federal employees hired in any capacity on or after January 1, 1984. Many state and local government workers, however, are exempt from Social Security taxes because they contribute instead to alternative retirement systems set up by their employers.
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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Are You Eligible For Social Security Benefits
If youve worked in the US for at least a decade, you can probably expect to receive some Social Security retirement benefits once you retire. The idea is that if you pay into the system throughout your career , then you reap the benefits during your golden years.
Determining whether youre eligible for benefits, and specifically when you can begin receiving them, isnt quite as simple as it was back when the program began. Heres how to know if youre eligible, when you can start receiving benefits, and how to maximize your benefits.
Social Security Benefits Eligibility Requirements
Progress toward Social Security eligibility is measured in credits. The more you work and contribute to Social Security, the more credits you earn. In order to be eligible for benefits, you need at least 40 credits, which equates to 10 years of work. The exception to this is if you were born before 1929.
Unless you reach 40 credits, you wont be able to receive any form of benefit. Once youve crossed that threshold, however, your benefit amount can change depending on how long you keep contributing and how much you contribute. Simply put, your benefits will increase if you contribute more to the Social Security fund.
To calculate your benefits, the Social Security Administration will look at the 35-year period of your highest earnings and use that to determine your primary insurance amount. This is the amount youd receive if you elect to receive your benefits at your full retirement age .