Monday, May 16, 2022

When Can You Apply For Social Security Retirement Benefits

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What Questions Will Social Security Ask Me When I Am Applying For My Benefits

How Do I Apply For My Social Security Retirement Benefits Online – Documents Needed To Apply For SSI

You will be asked about your date of birth, your Social Security Number, any former spouse, or your current spouse. You will be asked to confirm the names of any unmarried children or any children under 19 or disabled.

You will be asked about your bank account information, your citizenship, any previous benefits you have applied for or received.

Questions about your previous or current employment, earnings the year before, and any military service will be asked.

There are many other questions you may be asked, it is best to be prepared to answer anything related to your past financial, medical, military, tax, and family history.

How Social Security Credit Works

Working in a job that pays social security taxes can earn you social security. These credits affect the retirement benefits you are entitled to.

Basically, your social security credits depend on your average income throughout your entire working career. The amount of earnings needed to earn credits changes every year. In 2019, an income of $1,360 can earn you one credit. Each worker can earn no more than four credits a year.

People born before 1929 need to earn at least 40 credits to be eligible for retirement. This translates to 10 years of working and paying social security taxes. If you are born after 1929, the requirement is lesser.

To check your social security credits, the SSA allows you to view your work earnings history online. Just go to their website and sign-up or log-in to your SSA account.

How Can I Increase My Retirement Benefits

There are multiple ways you can increase your retirement benefits. This article mentioned a few ways briefly. Below is a list of other ways you could increase your benefits payment.

Social Security benefits can be increased by:

  • Delaying your retirement
  • Continuing to work while receiving Social Security benefits.
  • Collect Spousal benefits
  • Recommended Reading: When To Start Taking Social Security Payments

    Whats Your Social Security Break

    If youre looking to maximize your total lifetime Social Security payout, youll want to conduct a break-even analysis to determine when you should start drawing your benefits.

    Your break-even age occurs when the total value of higher benefits starts to exceed the total value of lower benefits .

    For example, if you are eligible to collect a reduced $900 benefit at age 62 plus 1 month, and your benefit would increase to $1,251 at age 65 and 10 months, your estimated break-even age is 75 years and 5 months.

    If you expect to live beyond that age, it could make financial sense to delay drawing benefits. The Social Security Administrations life expectancy calculator can help you decide.

    When it comes to calculating a start date for Social Security benefits, however, theres not an age thats appropriate for everyone. Consider your own financial needs, health and other retirement plans before making the call. If you cant reasonably afford to live without taking benefits, it may make little sense to delay taking your benefit.

    Apply For Benefits Online

    The ins and outs of applying for Social Security benefits

    You should apply for disability benefits as soon as you become disabled. Follow these easy steps to apply online for disability:

    • To start your application, go to our Apply for Benefits page, and read and agree to the Terms of Service. Click Next.
    • On that page, review the Getting Ready section to make sure you have the information you need to apply.
    • Select Start A New Application.
    • We will ask a few questions about who is filling out the application.
    • You will then sign into your mySocial Security account, or you will be prompted to create one.
    • Complete the application.

    You can use the online application to apply for disability benefits if you:

    • Are age 18 or older.
    • Are not currently receiving benefits on your own Social Security record.
    • Are unable to work because of a medical condition that is expected to last at least 12 months or result in death and
    • Have not been denied for disability in the last 60 days.
    • Note: If your application was recently denied, our application is a starting point to request a review of the determination we made.

    You may be able to file online for SSI at the same time that you file for SSDI benefits. Once you complete the online process above, a Social Security representative will contact you if we need additional information.

    Also Check: How To Find Out My Current Social Security Benefits

    What Documents Do You Need To Apply For Retirement Benefits

    We request different documents depending on your circumstances. You can help by being ready to provide the information and documents listed below. You can also use our Checklist For The Online Medicare, Retirement, And Spouses Application to help you gather the information you need to apply.

    Documents we may ask for include:

    • Your Social Security card or a record of your number.
    • Your original birth certificate, a copy certified by the issuing agency, or other proof of your age.We must see the original document, or copies certified by the agency that issued them. We cannot accept photocopies or notarized copies.
    • If you were not born in the U.S., proof of U.S. citizenship or lawful alien status. We must see the original document, or copies certified by the agency that issued them. We cannot accept documents if they have expired. We cannot accept photocopies or notarized copies.
    • A copy of your U.S. military service paper if you served before 1968. A photocopy is acceptable.
    • A copy of your W-2 form and/or self-employment tax return for last year. A photocopy is acceptable.

    We will return all documents and photocopies unless specifically told otherwise.

    Special Rule As You Approach Full Retirement Age

    If you are already receiving your retirement benefits, a special higher earnings limit applies in the calendar year you turn your full retirement age . If you will reach full retirement age in 2021, you can earn up to $4,210 per month without losing any of your benefits, up until the month you turn 66. But for every $3 you earn over that amount in any month, you will lose $1 in Social Security benefits. Beginning in the month you reach full retirement age, you become eligible to earn any amount without penalty.

    If you are self-employed, you may receive full benefits for any month during this first year in which you did not perform what Social Security considers “substantial services.” The usual test for whether you worked substantial services is whether you worked in your business more than 45 hours during the month . In other words, if you work in your business more than 45 hours in a month, Social Security may reduce your benefit.

    Read Also: How Do You Get Social Security

    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.

    If I Apply For Disability Before I Retire Will My Retirement Be Affected

    ð´Can I Apply For Social Security Retirement Benefits In Advance of Age 62

    According to Social Securitys website, if you apply for disability before you retire, the date of your retirement is considered your start date. This means that you would not be eligible for any benefits from Social Security. However, if you are approved for disability after you retire, then your retirement will not be affected.

    Social Security disability benefits are paid to people if they become disabled and cannot work. If you apply for disability before you retire, it may affect your retirement benefits. Social Security will usually award disability benefits for a shorter time than the length of your retirement benefit. You should consider how much longer you think you will need to stay on Social Security disability when deciding when to apply for it.

    You may be entitled for disability benefits if you are unable to work due to a medical condition. If this is the case, you should apply for these benefits before you retire. Social Security Disability Benefits affect your retirement benefits because they reduce the amount of money that youll receive in monthly payments.

    Also Check: Social Security Maximum Monthly Payment

    Will My Social Security Benefits Be Reduced If I Work

    A worker who claims benefits before full retirement age may run into the earnings limit, in which Social Security temporarily withholds $1 in benefits for every $2 in earnings above a certain amount in 2021, the limit is $18,960.

    And though a person may need benefits to supplement low earnings, the downside of permanently reduced benefits also exists if you claim early, whether or not you exceed the earnings limit, Ms. Floyd said.

    A working widow who collects a survivor benefit could also face the earnings limit. A widow can claim a survivor benefit as young as 60, though her benefit will be reduced by claiming before full retirement age. If she is working and exceeds the earnings limit, part of those reduced benefits will be withheld.

    The earnings limit also applies to the spousal benefit claimed by a nonworking spouse if the other spouse is working and both are younger than full retirement age. Social Security withholds benefits on total household earnings that exceed the limit.

    Withheld benefits are not lost forever, however. At the beneficiarys full retirement age, Social Security will adjust the monthly benefit upward to account for the withheld benefits. The beneficiary will continue to receive the higher payment even after she recoups the withheld benefits, which could take 12 years.

    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.

    Recommended Reading: Can You Find Someone With Their Social Security Number

    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

    Can I Collect My Retirementbenefits Early

    Can I Collect Social Security Retirement and Disability ...

    You can start collecting Social Security as early as age 62 but theres a catch. If you collect before you reach your full retirement age , youll receive a lower monthly payment permanently. For example, if your FRA is 67, but you begin to claim benefits at 62, youre signing up to get 30% less. However, this reduction will decrease for each month you wait after age 62, up until your FRA. Think of your FRA as your break-even point.

    Age to receive full Social Security benefits2

    Year born

    65 + 2 months for every year after 1937

    1943-1954

    66 + 2 months for every year after 1954

    1960 +

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    Applying For Social Security

    • Generally, you should apply for Social Security retirement benefits three months before you want your benefits to begin. Even if you dont plan to receive benefits right away, you should still sign up for Medicare three months before you reach age 65.
    • If you were born before 1938 and you meet all other requirements, you can receive benefits beginning with the first full month you are age 62. However, if you choose to begin receiving benefits before age 65, your benefits will be reduced to account for the longer period over which you will be paid.
    • The full retirement age is 65 for persons born before 1938. The age gradually rises until it reaches 67 for persons born in 1960 or later. Social Security benefits are payable at full retirement age for anyone with enough Social Security credits. As you work and pay taxes, you earn credits that count towards eligibility for future Social Security benefits. You can earn a maximum of four credits each year. Most people need 40 credits to qualify for benefits. People who delay retirement beyond full retirement age get special credit for each month they dont receive a benefit until they reach age 70.
    • To find out what your retirement age is, use the Social Security Retirement Age Chart at www.ssa.gov
    • You should speak with a Social Security representative in the year before you plan to retire. It may be to your advantage to start receiving your retirement benefits before you actually stop working.

    ave questions? Call at 874-4618.

    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 Much Will Your Retirement Benefit Be

    Your retirement benefit is based on your average earnings over your working career. Higher lifetime earnings result in higher benefits, so if you have some years of no earnings or low earnings, your benefit amount may be lower than if you had worked steadily. Your age at the time you start receiving benefits also affects your benefit amount. Although you can retire early at age 62, the longer you wait to retire , the higher your retirement benefit.

    You can find out more about future Social Security benefits by signing up for a my Social Security account at the Social Security website, www.ssa.gov, so that you can view your online Social Security Statement. Your statement contains a detailed record of your earnings, as well as estimates of retirement, survivor’s, and disability benefits. If you’re not registered for an online account and are not yet receiving benefits, you’ll receive a statement in the mail every five years, from age 25 to age 60, and then annually thereafter. You can also use the Retirement Estimator calculator on the Social Security website, as well as other benefit calculators that can help you estimate disability and survivor’s benefits.

    What Age Do I Need To Start Worrying About Social Security

    How to Apply for Social Security Retirement Online

    Most workers know the basics about Social Security but dont have an intimate understanding of how the program operates. Social Security is not some static retirement income program that guarantees a pot of gold at the end of your career. Rather, Social Security is ever-evolving, and the system thats in place today might be significantly different by the time you actually retire. At various phases of your career, there are certain aspects of Social Security that you should pay particular attention to.

    See: All the States That Dont Tax Social Security

    Also Check: Can You Check The Status Of Your Social Security Card

    Apply For Retirement Benefits

    Starting your Social Security retirement benefits is a major step on your retirement journey. This page will guide you through the process of applying for retirement benefits when youre ready to take that step. Our online application is a convenient way to apply on your own schedule, without an appointment. You can also apply by phone or by appointment at a Social Security office.

    Social Security Benefits If Youre Married

    Determining Social Security calculations is a bit more complicated if you are married because you have the option to base benefits on your spouses salary history.

    If the lesser earning spouses benefits are based on the higher earning spouses, then the limit of those earnings will be 50 percent of the higher earning spouses benefit amount.

    To illustrate this, lets talk about A and B, a married couple.

    • A makes significantly more money than B.
    • A makes so much more money that As monthly Social Security benefits are going to be more than twice of Bs, based on Bs salary history.
    • The good news for B is that they can choose to have their Social Security benefits based on As salary history and can receive as much as 50 percent of As monthly benefit. This is the case even if B didnt hold a job outside the home.

    On the other hand, if Bs monthly benefit would have been more than half of As, based on Bs salary history, then B can claim that amount.

    In short, B can claim the higher of these two possibilities: Bs own Social Security earnings or half of As.

    This all assumes that B doesnt begin claiming benefits until B reaches full retirement age. If B begins claiming earlier, then Bs benefits will be less. In addition, if B is claiming benefits based on As earnings, then B does not benefit by waiting later than full retirement age.

    B will not be given more monthly benefits if B waits until age 70, for example, based on As earnings.

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    When You Can Apply For Social Security Retirement Benefits

    A safe and happy retirement is every workers dream. Fulfilling this dream is much easier when you have a plan in place. This article provides comprehensive knowledge about your Social Security retirement benefits. It can help you know what to expect from Social Security while preparing for the financial future.

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