Wednesday, June 15, 2022

When Can Get Social Security Benefits

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Social Security Spousal Benefits Requirements

How much your Social Security benefits will be if you make $30,000, $35,000 or $40,000

Based on actuarial studies, after a married couple reaches 65 years old, a majority of the time, one spouse will outlive the other by as much as 10 years. So the decision on who should file for benefits and when that should take place can have a major long-term impact on the income of a surviving spouse.

Spouses who never worked or have had low earnings throughout the course of their life are entitled to receive up to half of their spouses full retirement benefit. Depending on your personal situation, you may receive your own benefit or a blended amount of both you and your spouses benefit. Either way, you will receive a combination of benefits that gives you the highest possible amount.

One strategy often employed is for a spouse to take their spouses retirement benefit and delay taking their own benefit. By doing so, you can continue to accrue delayed retirement benefits which will result in a larger benefit amount when you file for your own retirement benefit.

How Does Social Security Work

While employed, you pay a 6.2% Social Security tax on earnings up to a maximum amount , and your employer pays a matching 6.2%. If you are self-employed, then you are responsible for the entire 12.4% tax yourself.

The money is not held in a personal account, such as a bank account. Rather, the money that you pay into Social Security today goes to provide monthly benefits for current retirees and other Social Security recipients.

Why Is Reporting A Name Change Or Change Of Address Important

If you fail to report a change in your name to the SSA but change the name on your bank account tied to direct deposit, you may not receive your benefits until both names match. If you are receiving paper checks and fail to report your change of address, the check will be mailed to your old address. If you do receive a check but the names dont match, your bank or financial institution may not let you cash it.

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Social Security Disability Benefits

The final category of Social Security benefits applies if you suffer an injury or illness that leaves you unable to work. These benefits are paid from the Disability Insurance Trust Fund.

A person qualifies for disability benefits after working long enough to be eligible for Social Security before becoming disabled. You must meet certain criteria defined by the SSA, including severe disabilitya disability that has lasted or is expected to last at least one year or result in death, with the person deemed unable to perform any work. The benefit begins six full months after the onset of the disability. This benefit is for life unless the SSA determines that you no longer qualify.

How Much Will An Adult Child Receive

We Can Help You Get the Social Security Benefits You Deserve

After the parent dies, the benefit to disabled adult children will be based on the amount the parent paid into the SSA while they were alive and working. You can estimate this amount by looking at your My Social Security account on SSA.gov. Your survivor would be eligible for 75% of the primary insurance amount on your account. Your PIA adjusts any year there is a cost-of-living adjustment or you have wages, so check back every year.

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Social Security Disability Spousal Benefits

The spouse of a disabled worker may qualify for benefits. To qualify, the spouse must be:

  • At least 62 years old
  • Any age and care for the spouses child who is under age 16 or disabled

The spousal benefits begin when the disabled workers benefits start. It ends at the death of the disabled worker or the spouse, or when the SSA determines that the person no longer qualifies.

Auxiliary Disabled Adult Child Benefit

If you are the parent of a child you believe meets the criteria for a disabled adult child benefit and you are on Social Security retirement or disability, you can get them added as an auxiliary to your record before you pass. This increases their benefit amount while you are still living and will significantly streamline the process for them to convert to a survivor benefit after your passing.

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Benefits For Your Children

When you qualify for Social Security retirement benefits, your children may also qualify to receive benefits on your record. Your eligible child can be your biological child, adopted child, or stepchild. A dependent grandchild may also qualify.

To receive benefits, the child must:

Benefits stop when children reach age 18 unless they are disabled. However, if the child is still a full-time student at a secondary school at age 18, benefits will continue until the child graduates or until two months after the child becomes age 19, whichever is first.

Benefits paid for your child will not decrease your retirement benefit. In fact, the value of the benefits they may receive, added to your own, may help you decide if taking your benefits sooner may be more advantageous.

C You Can Continue Working And Not Receive Your Retirement Benefits

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If you decide to continue working and not start your benefits until after full retirement age, your benefits will increase for each month you do not receive them until you reach age 70. There is no incentive to delay filing for your benefits after age 70. Continuing to work may also increase your benefits, because your current earnings could replace an earlier year of lower or no earnings, which can result in a higher benefit amount.

If you are not receiving your Social Security benefits when you turn 65, you will need to apply for Original Medicare three months before you turn 65. If you dont sign up for Medicare Part B when youre first eligible at age 65, you may have to pay a late enrollment penalty for as long as you have Medicare coverage.

However, if you or your spouse are still working and covered under an employer-provided group health plan, talk to your personnel office before signing up for Medicare Part B. Once the covered employment ends, you may be eligible for a Special Enrollment Period to sign up for Part B. If so, you wont have to pay a late enrollment penalty.

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How Does Social Security Affect Medicare And My Retirement Benefits

Although Medicare is a separate benefit offered by the government, it often times goes hand in hand with Social Security retirement benefits as a means of providing a financial safety net for retired workers.

Medicare is the government sponsored health insurance plan for people who are at least 65 years old. The only exceptions to this are the disabled or those who have permanent kidney failure, both of whom can get Medicare at any age.

Medicare is broken into four parts:

Medicare Part A Hospital insurance that helps pay for in-patient hospital care and some follow-up services.

Medicare Part B Medical insurance that helps pay for doctors services, outpatient hospital care and related medical services.

Medicare Part C Medicare Advantage Plans allow people to combine Part A and Part B to get medical services from a single provider organization.

Medicare Part D Prescription drug coverage helps pay for prescribed medications.

Medicare and Social Security benefits are linked in that when you turn 65 years old, your Part A Medicare hospital insurance begins automatically. If you live in the United States or U.S. territories, youll also be enrolled in Part B Medical insurance coverage as well.

Regardless of whether or not youre getting Social Security benefits, you should sign up for Medicare about three months before your 65th birthday.

How Much Will My Spouse Receive

If your spouse qualifies for benefits on their own record, we will pay that amount first. If the benefit on your record is higher, they will get an additional amount on your record so that the combination of benefits equals that higher amount.

If they begin receiving benefits:

If your spouse will receive a pension for work not covered by Social Security such as government employment, the amount of their Social Security benefits on your record may be reduced.

at any age

Benefits paid to your spouse will not decrease your retirement benefit. In fact, the value of the benefits they may receive, added to your own, may help you decide if taking your benefits sooner may be more advantageous.

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Receiving Social Security Benefits Early

If you start receiving Social Security at age 62, your monthly benefits can be reduced by as much as 30%. Benefits increase each year as you approach full retirement age, at which point you will receive the full amount.

If you start Social Security after age 62 but before you reach your full retirement age, your benefits will still be reduced, but not as much. Social Security reduces your benefit by .56% for each month before your full retirement age for up to 36 months. If you retire more than 36 months before your full retirement age, you lose an additional .42% per month. The formula can be complicated, so the best way to know exactly what you’ll receive based on when you plan to retire is to visit the Social Security website and log into your account or call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213.

How We Deduct Earnings From Benefits

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In 2021, if youre under full retirement age, the annual earnings limit is $18,960. If you will reach full retirement age in 2021, the limit on your earnings for the months before full retirement age is $50,520.

Starting with the month you reach full retirement age, there is no limit on how much you can earn and still receive your benefits.

Let’s look at a few examples. You are receiving Social Security retirement benefits every month in 2021 and you:

  • Are under full retirement age all year. You are entitled to $800 a month in benefits.

    You work and earn $28,960 during the year. Your Social Security benefits would be reduced by $5,000 . You would receive $4,600 of your $9,600 in benefits for the year.

  • Reach full retirement age in August 2021. You are entitled to $800 per month in benefits.

    You work and earn $63,000 during the year, with $52,638 of it in the 7 months from January through July.

    • Your Social Security benefits would be reduced through July by $706 . You would still receive $4,894 out of your $5,600 benefits for the first 7 months.
    • Beginning in August 2021, when you reach full retirement age, you would receive your full benefit , no matter how much you earn.

If you are eligible for retirement benefits this year and are still working, you can use our earnings test calculator to see how your earnings could affect your benefit payments.

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You Can Receive Benefits Before Your Full Retirement Age

You can start receiving your Social Security retirement benefits as early as age 62, but the benefit amount will be lower than your full retirement benefit amount.

If you start receiving your benefits before your full retirement age, we will reduce your benefits based on the number of months you receive benefits before you reach your full retirement age.

If you wait until age 70 to start your benefits, your benefit amount will be higher because you will receive delayed retirement credits for each month you delay filing for benefits. There is no additional benefit increase after you reach age 70, even if you continue to delay starting benefits.

When Should You Start Social Security

The Social Security Administration does not have a recommended age to start receiving benefits. The decision is entirely up to you. You’ll get a little less if you start early, or a bigger benefit if you wait until 70. You can calculate the difference on the SSA website. You may receive a bigger payout over your lifetime if you wait, but that might not be as important as receiving income now, especially if you can no longer work for health reasons. Ultimately, the right age depends on your financial situation, your work, and your health.

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How Do You Apply

You can apply online by using our Social Security Retirement/Medicare Benefit Application to apply for retirement, spouse’s, divorced spouse’s or Medicare benefits.

If you and your spouse apply online for retirement benefits at the same time, or if your spouse applies online after you start receiving benefits, we will check their eligibility for benefits as a spouse. If they are qualified, the online application will automatically include a request for spousal benefits on your record.

If your spouse applies for benefits, they need to be ready to supply the information we need to approve their application for these benefits:

What Else Affects Your Retirement Benefits

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Everyones retirement is unique. Beyond deciding when to begin receiving retirement benefits, other factors that can affect your benefits include whether you continue to work, what type of job you had, and if you have a pension from certain jobs.

Continuing To Work

You can choose to keep working beyond your full retirement age. If you do, you can increase your future Social Security benefits. Each extra year you work adds another year of earnings to your Social Security record. Higher lifetime earnings can mean higher benefits when you choose to receive benefits.

Specific Types Of Earnings

While Social Security earnings are calculated the same way for most American workers, there are some types of earnings that have additional rules.

Earning types with special rules include:

Pensions And Other Factors

Pensions and taxes have the potential to impact your retirement benefit. Review the resources below on pensions and other factors you should consider:

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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.

How Are Social Security Benefits Calculated

For most people, Social Security benefits are calculated based on lifetime earnings. Earnings are adjusted to account for increases or decreases in average wages since the year your earnings were received. The Social Security Administration then calculates your average indexed monthly earnings for the 35 years of your work history in which you earned the most. If you have fewer than 35 years of work history, a 0 is entered in for any missing year, which brings down your overall average.

Your average earnings are used to determine your primary insurance amount for Social Security retirement benefits. This number represents the amount youd receive each month from Social Security once you reach full retirement age, which is dependent on the year you were born. The full retirement age for people born after 1960 is 67 years old, as of 2022, though for people born before 1960 it may be 66 instead.

You have to earn at least 40 Social Security credits to qualify for Social Security benefits. These credits are earned as you work and pay Social Security taxes from your income. That includes income from working for an employer or money made through self-employment. If you dont earn enough Social Security credits then you may not be eligible to receive Social Security retirements benefits though you could still qualify for SSI benefits.

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When Can You Start Receiving Social Security Benefits

        You can start receiving your Social Security retirement benefits as early as age 62 and as late as age 70. According to the Social Security Administration, you are entitled to full benefits when you reach normal retirement age or “full retirement age.” Learn more about when you can draw Social Security benefits.

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