You Can Claim Social Security Benefits Earned By Your Ex
Just because you’re divorced doesn’t mean you’ve lost the ability to get a Social Security benefit based on your former spouse’s earnings record. You can receive a benefit based on his or her record instead of a benefit based on your own work record if you were married at least 10 years, you are 62 or older, and single.
Like a regular spousal benefit, you can get up to 50% of an ex-spouse’s benefit — less if you claim before full retirement age. And the beauty of it is that your ex never needs to know because you apply for the benefit directly through the Social Security Administration. Taking a benefit on your ex’s record has no effect on his or her benefit or the benefit of your ex’s new spouse. And unlike a regular spousal benefit, if your ex qualifies for benefits but has yet to apply, you can still take a benefit on the ex’s record if you have been divorced for at least two years.
Note: Ex-spouses can also take a survivor benefit if their ex has died after the divorce, and, like any survivor benefit, it will be worth up to 100% of what the ex-spouse received. If you remarry after age 60, you are still eligible for the survivor benefit.
A claiming strategy if youre divorced: Exes at full retirement age who were born on January 1, 1954, or earlier can apply to restrict their application to a spousal benefit while letting their own benefit grow.
Is Disability Retirement My Best Option
Even if you have a disability that is likely to be permanent, you do not have to retire on disability. If you qualify for service retirement, you may find this option would better meet your retirement needs, particularly if you qualify for the hazardous duty supplement, which is not payable to members who retire on disability.
Before submitting a disability retirement application, compare your estimated disability retirement benefit with your estimated service retirement benefit. Your human resource office can assist you with benefit estimates. You can also create benefit estimates through myVRS. Log in or create a secure myVRS online account.
Select Applying for Disability Retirement from the key topics in the right column for more information about service retirement pending approval of disability retirement.
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The Disability Freeze Limits How Much The Ssa Penalizes You For Years You Dont Work Or Pay Fica Taxes
The disability freeze rule means the SSA ignores all months you received SSDI when computing your retirement or survivors benefits. This prevents any years you didnt work from counting towards your regular Social Security, so your payments wont be lower. The disability freeze also applies to anyone who got well enough to start working again after drawing SSDI benefits. If you apply for early retirement instead of SSDI, the disability freeze rule cannot protect your Social Security payments.
Can I Change My Start Date For Benefits
I submitted my social security application today. Afterwards I realized I should have put in the start date as 10/2017. I wanted the first check in November. I’m 67 yrs 2 months if that matters. Also, my retirement date is Sept 30, 2017. Can I somehow change the start date? One more thing, the application also asked if I wanted Medicare B and I said yes. If the start date isn’t changed does it affect the start date of Medicare B? Thank you for your answers. Trying to find answers on line is very difficult.
Yes, you still have time to change your start date. If you filed online, you may want to try contacting Social Security by phone or in person to get connected with the office handling your claim. However, there is a good chance that a Social Security representative will contact you about your claim even if you don’t contact them. That could also give you an opportunity to change your start date. If all else fails and your claim is processed with an incorrect start date, you can still submit a written request to change your month of entitlement.
Documentation Of Military Service
If you were a part of the military before 1968, the Social Security benefits application will ask for a copy of your military service papers. These could include your certification of discharge or release from active duty. While applying for benefits, you will likely need to send a few documents from above to the SSA. Keep in mind that all of these documents, whether photocopies or original records, will be returned to you.
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Below Full Retirement Age Penalties May Apply If You Collect And Earn Above Certain Thresholds
According to the Social Security Administration, if you are younger than or are of full retirement age and earn more than certain amounts, your social security benefits will be reduced.
NOTE: However, it is important to note that these benefit reductions have not really been lost. Your benefit will be increased when you retire, to take into account benefits retained due to previous earnings.
If you are younger than the full retirement age, there is a limit to how much you can earn and still receive full Social Security benefits. If you are under the full retirement age throughout 2021, the SSA deducts $ 1 from your benefits for every $ 2 you earn above $ 18,960.
If you reach the full retirement age and start claiming, SSA deducts $ 1 from your benefits for every $ 3 you earn above $ 50,520 until the month you reach the full retirement age.
B You Can Stop Working And Start Receiving Your Retirement Benefits
If you make the decision to stop working and start receiving retirement benefits before your full retirement age, your benefits are reduced a fraction of a percent for each month before your full retirement age. Also, your benefits will not increase because of additional earnings.
We calculate your benefits based on your highest 35 years of earnings, and if you stop working before you have attained 35 years of earnings or you have years with low earnings, this will affect your benefit calculation.
If you delay your benefits until after full retirement age, you will be eligible for delayed retirement credits that would increase your benefit.
If you stop working and start receiving retirement benefits before age 65, you are automatically enrolled in Original Medicare when you turn 65. If you are not receiving your Social Security benefits when you turn 65, you will need to apply for Medicare benefits three months before you turn 65. If you dont sign up for Medicare Part B when youre first eligible, you may have to pay a late enrollment penalty for as long as you have Medicare coverage.
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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.
Before You Make Your Decision
There are advantages and disadvantages to taking your benefit before your full retirement age. The advantage is that you collect benefits for a longer period of time. The disadvantage is your benefit will be reduced. Each person’s situation is different. It is important to remember:
- If you delay your benefits until after full retirement age, you will be eligible for delayed retirement credits that would increase your monthly benefit.
- That there are other things to consider when making the decision about when to begin receiving your retirement benefits.
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Get Ssa Benefits While Living Overseas
U.S. citizens can travel to or live in most, but not all, foreign countries and still receive their Social Security benefits. You can find out if you can receive benefits overseas by using the Social Security Administrations payment verification tool. Once you access the tool, pick the country you’re visiting or living in from the drop-down menu options.
Retirement Age For Those Born After 1937
Year Born 1960 or later 67 years
The system does provide for early retirement at age 62, but also offers higher benefits for people who wait to make their claims after reaching full retirement age. For more information, see Nolo’s article Social Security Benefits: Retirement, Disability, Dependents, and Survivors.
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When A Spouse Dies
When one spouse dies, the surviving spouse is entitled to receive the higher of their own benefit or their deceased spouses benefit. Thats why financial planners often advise the higher-earning spouse to delay claiming. If the higher-earning spouse dies first, then the surviving, lower-earning spouse will receive a larger Social Security check for life.
When the surviving spouse hasnt reached their FRA, they will be entitled to prorated amounts starting at age 60. Once at their FRA, the surviving spouse is entitled to 100% of the deceased spouses benefit or their own benefit, whichever is higher.
Early Benefits Can Still Pay Off
However, taking early benefits can still pay off despite the reduced monthly check. But youll want to be sure you budget for a reduced benefit.
No one can predict how long youll live, but if youre facing a potentially significant reduction in life expectancy and are short of income, taking Social Security early may be appropriate, says Neiser.
Married women are also good candidates for claiming early benefits because they are likely to outlive their husbands. Those widows then become eligible to receive the greater of either their benefit or their late husbands benefit.
However, this scenario works only if the husband does not claim his benefits early. By not claiming early benefits, the husband effectively increases the monthly benefit his wife eventually receives. So youll want to calculate how filing early will affect your spousal benefit here.
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Learn About Retirement Benefits
We want you to know what Social Security can mean for you and your familys financial future. In this section, you can learn how Social Security works, whos eligible for retirement benefits, and what to consider before applying. Read on to understand how Social Security fits into your retirement plan.
What If I Change My Mind
If you receive Social Security benefits at a reduced rate, but then change your mind, you have the option of withdrawing your application and paying back to the government what youâve already received . Then, you could restart benefits at a later date to take advantage of a higher payout. But you are limited to one withdrawal per lifetime.
For example, letâs say you elected to receive early benefits at age 62, but then decided to go back to work at age 63. You could withdraw your Social Security application within the first 12 months of receiving benefits, pay back the years worth of benefits you received, go back to work, and then wait until a later age to restart your benefit checks at a higher level.
For important details about repaying benefits please read the SSA publication If You Change Your Mind.
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Essential Documents Needed To Apply For Social Security Retirement Benefits
Now that you have an idea of what kind of information will be needed for your application, its time to start getting your documents together. Some of these things might seem like common sense, while others you might not think to gather if you werent aware that they were needed. If you dont have access to all of these documents, now is an excellent time to see what is missing and determine the best way to replace it.
Some of the documents you may be asked for include:
- Your Social Security card or a record of the number
- Proof of U.S citizenship or lawful alien status if you were born outside the country
- An original birth certificate or a certified copy if you were born in the United States
- A copy of your U.S. military service papers if you served before 1968
- A copy of your self-employment tax return or W-2 forms for the previous years
- Bank information for making deposits
Those who have already verified their age, lawful alien status, or citizenship for a Social Security or Medicare claim may not need to provide all of this proof again. After the documents have been processed, they will be returned to you unless you request an alternative.
No : You May Have $0 Or Low
Social Security bases your benefit level on your highest 35 years of covered earnings. The younger you are when you claim benefits, the bigger the chance that you’ll have $0 or really low-income early-career years on that list. If you’re able to keep working past age 62, you might be able to replace those with some decent, late-career-level earnings numbers.
Having more earnings on your record can make a key difference in what you get from the program, especially if you’re planning on Social Security providing a large portion of your retirement income.
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What If I Take Benefits Early
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, lets assume that you stop working at age 62. If your full retirement age is 66 and you elect to start benefits at age 62, the reduced benefit calculation is based on 48 months. This means that the reduction for the first 36 months is 20% and 5% for the remaining 12 months. Overall, your benefits would be permanently reduced by 25%.
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At What Age Is Social Security No Longer Taxed
At 65 to 67, depending on the year of your birth, you are at full retirement age and can get full Social Security retirement benefits tax-free. However, if youre still working, part of your benefits might be subject to taxation. The IRS adds the figures for your earnings and half your Social Security benefits.
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Checklist Tip #: Use The Retirement Estimator
Using an online retirement estimator can go a long way into planning how much you are going to have to live on each month. Being on a fixed Social Security income is doable if you are able to plan and budget accordingly. It may mean downsizing your current living situation into something more financially manageable or paying off some debt before you are able to retire.
When you are ready to retire, if you still have questions the Social Security government site can’t answer for you, may sure you chat with a knowledgeable financial advisor to help you set up your future. That way you can sail into your retirement years with greater ease.
How To Stop Social Security Check Payments
The SSA can not pay benefits for the month of a recipients death. That means if the person died in July, the check received in August must be returned. Find out how to return a check to the SSA.
If the payment is by direct deposit, notify the financial institution as soon as possible so it can return any payments received after death. For more about the requirement to return benefits for the month of a beneficiarys death, see the top of page 11 of this SSA publication.
Family members may be eligible for Social Security survivors benefits when a person getting benefits dies. Visit the SSA’s Survivors Benefits page to learn more.
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