Monday, May 16, 2022

When Can I Claim My Social Security Benefits

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How Long Should Two Spouses Live In The Usa So A Foreign Spouse Can Obtain Social Security Spousal Benefits

If Social Security tries to cut off my disability Social Security benefits, what can I do?

This is the third exception. If a foreign spouse of an American expat is not a citizen of resident of one of the countries listed above, then this spouse can still claim social security spousal benefits if the following requirements are met:

1. Foreign spouse has resided in the USA for at least 5 years that should not be consecutive.

2. Foreign spouse must be in a spousal relationship during this 5-year period. Spousal relationship includes a period while a foreign spouse is a widow/er. In case of divorce, a surviving divorced spouse cannot receive social security spouse benefits if this spouse remarries before the age of 60 and s/he hasnt met a five-year test before the age of 60.

What Happens If My Childs Father Died

If the custodial parent dies, the main focus will be who will care for the children. This could result in guardianship from the grandparents, the non-custodial parent, friends of the family, or other relatives. If the non-custodial parent takes on custody, they could try to modify their child support.

When Can I Start Collecting Social Security Retirement Benefits

The Social Security Administration used to consider 65 to be full retirement age for the retirement benefit. Benefits amounts were calculated on the assumption that most workers will stop working full time and will claim retirement benefits when they reach age 65.

Now that people are generally living longer, Social Security’s rules about what is considered full retirement age have changed. Age 65 is still considered full retirement age for anyone born before 1938. But full retirement age gradually increases from age 65 to 67 for people born in 1938 or later. For anyone born after 1960, the full retirement age is 67.

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Ask A California Disability Lawyer: Can I Apply For Ssdi By Myself

We often try to do things by ourselves instead of hiring professionals. Sometimes its because of a can-do attitude, and sometimes we just hope to save a little money. But the problem is that professionals have more in-depth knowledge. They know how to handle problems when they arise. For example, you might need to apply for benefits like Social Security Disability Insurance . The forms are online, so it should be easy, right? If you are wondering if you can apply for SSDI by yourself, ask a California disability lawyer.

Heres why.

How Much More Income Could Your Family Earn

Can I Claim Spousal Social Security Benefits

If your grandchild meets the technical criteria for additional Social Security benefits, the actual amount your monthly payments increases depends on your unique situation and how many grandchildren you have in your family.

If youre receiving Social Security disability or Social Security retirement, any grandchild under age 18 will be entitled to up to 50% of your monthly benefits on top of what youre already receiving. A household income cap will come into play hereits usually around 180% of your monthly Social Security income.

For example, if you have two minor grandchildren and both are eligible for supplemental income worth 50% of your benefits, youd only end up receiving around 40% each. Once your eldest grandchild turns 18, the younger grandchild would then receive the full 50% because your household income would no longer be met.

If your spouse passes away, minor grandchildren could receive up to 75% of a deceased grandparents benefits. You can also receive survivors benefits on behalf of a spouse if youre over age 60 and were married for at least 10 years.

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Will A Government Pension Impact My Retirement Benefits

If you worked for an employer that didnt withhold FICA taxes from your salary, such as a government agency, the pension you receive based on that work may reduce your Social Security retirement benefits. This reduction, as part of the windfall elimination provision , affects individuals who earned a pension in any job where FICA taxes werent paid and who worked in other jobs long enough to qualify for Social Security retirement benefits.

In addition to a reduction in individual benefits, spousal and/or survivor benefits may also be reduced accordingly. In this case, Social Security benefits will be reduced by two-thirds of the government pension.

Is A Foreign Spouse Eligible To Receive Social Security Survivor Benefits

A foreign spouse must meet one of the above requirements to claim social security survivor benefits. If a foreign spouse doesnt meet a five-year test, then this spouse can move back to the USA as a widower to comply with the 5-year requirement and to become eligible to receive social security survivor benefits . Additionally, a foreign spouse can start claiming survivor benefits at the age of 60. However, it is more beneficial to wait until the full retirement age to maximize the amount of social security survivor benefits.

It is essential to check the website of Social Security Administration for the latest list of Totalization Agreements and other updates for Americans living abroad.

American expats living abroad should review the rules of the USA and a foreign country to determine whether a foreign spouse can claim social security spouse benefits. If US taxpayers have additional expat tax questions about social security benefits, Obamacare and other expatriate tax issues, please contact international tax experts at Artio Partners.

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Social Security For Spouses With Dependent Children Under 16

There is an exception to the general rule that you have to be 62 to claim Social Security spousal benefits, and thats when there are dependent children in the home. These days, more couples are having children later in life and the rates of divorce and remarriage among adults age 55 and older have grown significantly. Not to mention, more and more grandparents are finding themselves raising their grandchildren. Which means its possible to have dependent children who qualify for benefits on you or your spouses Social Security record.

If those children are under age 16, it’s possible for the children to each receive benefits until they reach age 18 and graduate from high school. Its also possible for you to qualify for spousal benefits, even if youre younger than age 62. The rules in this scenario, however, are a bit different, including a maximum family benefit.

If you are younger than age 62 and claim spousal benefits while caring for a child under 16, you won’t be subject to a reduction in spousal benefits for as long as that child is younger than 16. However, the spousal benefits will go away when the child reaches age 16 and keep in mind the amount of the spousal benefit will be subject to maximum family benefit rules. The maximum family benefit amount varies between 150% and 188% of the workers benefits, depending on a complex formula calculated by the Social Security Administration.

How Much Can I Expect To Get In Social Security Benefits

When Can I Retire and Collect Social Security? What’s The Best Age?

The amount of benefits to which you are entitled under any Social Security program is not related to financial need , but is based on the income you have earned through years of working, through jobs and self-employment. Social Security keeps a record of these earnings over your working lifetime and pays benefits based on the average amount earned.

Your Social Security retirement benefits will vary depending on whether you claim them before or after your full retirement age . The longer you wait to start receiving payments, the higher your benefit amount will be. However, it’s not always better to wait until your full retirement age to claim your Social Security benefits. For information on estimating your benefits, see Nolo’s article Social Security: Checking Your Earnings and Benefits.

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How Do I Apply For Spousal Benefits

You can file for spousal benefits the same way you would earned benefits: on the;Social Security Administration website, by phone at 1-800-772-1213, or by visiting your local Social Security;field office. Once approved, you will receive monthly payments by check or direct deposit.

When you apply for Social Security spousal benefits, they may ask you to provide the following documents to confirm you are eligible:

  • Birth certificate
  • Proof of U.S. citizenship. If you were not born in the U.S., you will need to show lawful alien status
  • U.S. military discharge papers if you served before 1968
  • W-2 forms and/or self-employment tax returns for last year

Applying and ensuring you claim the right benefit at the right time for your personal finances can be confusing. When youre ready to apply, we recommend;using a checklist;to ensure you take the right steps and have the right documentation.

In Which Countries Should A Foreign Spouse Reside To Get Social Security Spouse Benefits

This is the second exception. The USA has an extensive list of Social Security agreements with foreign countries. A social security agreement is also called a Totalization agreement. We wrote an article about Socials Security Agreements earlier. A foreign spouse of an American expat can receive social security spousal benefits If a foreign spouse has reached a retirement age of 62 years old and has been a resident of one the below countries. The following countries have a Social Security Agreement with the USA:

Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea , Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom

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Bridge To Medicare At Age 65

Remember that while you are eligible for reduced Social Security benefits at 62, you won’t be eligible for Medicare until age 65, so you will probably have to pay for private health insurance in the meantime. That can eat up a large chunk of your Social Security payments.

Read Viewpoints on Fidelity.com: Your bridge to Medicare

How Your Social Security Benefits Are Earned

Can I Claim Full Social Security Benefits Before My Ex ...

To be eligible for Social Security benefits in retirement, you must earn at least 40 “credits” throughout your career. You can earn as many as four credits a year, so it takes 10 years of work to qualify for Social Security.

In 2021, you must earn $1,470 to get one Social Security work credit and $5,880 to get the maximum four credits for the year.

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Can I Collect More Than One Type Of Benefit At A Time

No. You may qualify for more than one type of Social Security benefit at a time, but you can collect just one. For example, you might be eligible for both retirement and disability, or you might be entitled to benefits based on your own retirement as well as on that of your retired spouse. You can collect whichever one of these benefits is higher, but not both.

How Will My Retirement Benefits Be Taxed

Approximately one-third of people who collect Social Security benefits are required to pay income taxes on these benefits. Individuals with higher total incomes must include up to 85% of their benefits as income for federal income tax purposes, designated by special step-rate thresholds. However, the taxation thresholds for your benefits arent currently indexed for inflation.

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How Are Spousal Benefits Calculated For Social Security

The amount of your spousal benefit depends on 1) your spouses earnings history and 2) how old you are when you claim your benefits. If you claim benefits before your full retirement age , your benefits will be permanently reduced based on the number of months until you reach that age. However, your benefit does not depend on when your spouse claims.

Heres what you need to know about how the Social Security Administration calculates spousal benefits

1. First, the Social Security Administration calculates the benefits owed on your own earnings record .; Typically, that means youve paid into Social Security for at least 10 years over the course of your life.

2. Next, the SSA calculates 50% of your spouses PIA. That 50% is the most you could be eligible forbut as with earned benefits, youll receive less if you claim before your full retirement age.

3. If you claim benefits before your Full Retirement Age, they will reduce your spousal benefits. You are eligible to begin retirement and spousal benefits starting at age 62. However, spousal benefits;are reduced;by 25/36 of 1% for each month before your full retirement age, up to 36 months early. Benefits that are taken more than 36 months early are reduced an additional 5/12 of 1%. Claiming early permanently reduces your benefits.

The many rules;can feel confusing, and the best way to calculate your own benefit is to use a;Social Security benefits calculator.;

When Can I Start Collecting Social Security

What Can I Spend My Social Security Disability Benefits On?

The minimum age to claim benefits is 62. If you are turning 62 and need the income from Social Security to support yourself, then you can start claiming your benefits now. However, if you have enough other income to keep you going until you are older, then you may want to delay to increase the size of your monthly benefit.

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What Are Social Security Spousal Benefits

Social Security spousal benefits are a part of a workers retirement or disability benefit given to their spouse. Spousal benefits are based on the income earned during a qualifying workers life, as well as the retirement age of both the worker and their spouse.

If you qualify for Social Security spousal benefits, the size of your benefit can be up to 50% of your spouse or ex-spouses;primary insurance amount;. PIA is the amount of Social Security benefits that your spouse is entitled to at his or her full retirement age . So if your spouses PIA is $1,000, you could receive a maximum of $500 in spousal benefits.

If youve worked enough to qualify for your own Social Security retirement benefits, you will not get both benefits added together. Instead, you will receive whichever benefit is higher. If the spousal benefit is more than your own, youll get your own earned benefit plus an additional amount to bring you up to that higher spousal benefit amount.

When Should I Apply For Social Security

Generally, you should apply for your retirement benefits about three months before you want your benefits to begin. This will depend on various factors unique to you, including when you reach your FRA . Regardless of when you reach your FRA, you have an 8-year window between ages 62 and 70 in which you can begin receiving your benefits.

The decision to claim early versus delaying boils down to a trade-off between choosing a lower monthly benefit that you receive over a longer period of time and choosing a larger monthly benefit for fewer years. For example, claiming right away at age 62 will leave you with a smaller monthly benefit. If your FRA is 66 and you claim at 62, your monthly benefit will be 75% of your full benefits amountpermanently reducing your benefits by 25%. Likewise, if your FRA is 67 and you claim at 62 your monthly benefit will be 70% of your full benefits and remain permanently reduced by 30%.

On the other hand, if you delay receiving your benefits beyond your FRA you will increase;your benefits by 8% for each year you wait. For those with an FRA of 66, waiting until 70 to claim your benefits means you’ll receive 132% of your FRA benefits while those with an FRA of 67 will have a maximum benefit of 124% of their FRA at age 70. Figure 2 below shows what this would look like for someone with an FRA of 66 and a full monthly benefit amount of $1,000.

Figure 2: Percent of Full Benefits Received from Early vs. Late Benefits Election. Assumes a PIA of $1,000.

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How Can I Increase My Monthly Retirement Benefits

If you can wait until after your full retirement age to collect benefits, your benefit amount will increase each month until you turn 70. These monthly raises, called “delayed retirement credits,” can boost your benefits by as much as 124% of your PIA if you have an FRA of 67 and you wait until age 70 to collect. Maximizing your Social Security benefits can help close a gap between the money youve saved and the income you want in retirement.

Percent of PIA collectable by Age3

Collect at Age 67

100%

Collect at Age 70 or Later

124%

*Assumes FRA of 67

No More File And Suspend

Can My Wife Claim Social Security Spousal Benefits When I ...

Note that the claiming strategy called file and suspend, which allowed married couples who have reached their FRA to receive spousal benefits and delayed retirement credits at the same time, ended as of May 1, 2016. However, spouses born before Jan. 2, 1954, who have attained their FRA may still be able to file a restricted application. It allows them to claim spousal benefits while delaying their own benefits up to age 70.

Social Security benefits can be taxable if your combined income is high enough.

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What To Consider Before Filing For Social Security

A larger benefit check sounds great, but there are tradeoffs, and soon-to-retire folks should consider multiple issues before they decide one way or the other on when to file. If you really want to consider all the avenues, then youll have to think about your finances and longevity two issues that people have a hard time grappling with.

But heres the key tradeoff: you can file early and take a reduced benefit, expecting that a shorter lifespan will mean you receive more now, or you could file at full retirement age or later and claim a bigger check, and eventually live long enough to claim more than the first approach.

Social Security is like longevity insurance, says Brent Neiser, a certified financial planner and former chair of the Consumer Advisory Board at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Its a stream of payments that will not stop throughout your life, so delaying your benefits to keep those payments as large as possible forms a helpful base to your retirement plan.

Neiser urges those who have not saved enough for retirement to use whatever means possible to postpone their Social Security benefits until after their full retirement age to help boost their future income.

You can use personal savings to help bridge the gap, but ideally you should plan to work a little longer , Neiser says.

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