An Extra Consideration For Ssi
Keep in mind that SSI takes into account not just your income, but your household income as well.
That means that in addition to not engaging in SGA, you also have to meet certain household income limitations to qualify for SSI.
You could be under SGA, but if your spouse or roommate is making more money than SSI allows, then you will likely not qualify for SSI.
How To Get A Social Security Card
Spouses And Social Security
You can claim Social Security benefits based on your spouse’s work record. If claiming spousal benefits provides more, claiming before your FRA on a spouse’s record means you’ll lose even more than claiming on your own recordthe benefit reduction for a spouse is up to 35% while the reduction for claiming your own benefit is up to 30%. For instance, if you’re the spouse of Colleen in the above example and you are the same age, you’d be eligible for only $650 a month at age 6235% less than the $1000 a month you would get at your FRA of 67.
Not married? Read Viewpoints on Fidelity.com: Social Security tips for singles
Your decision to take benefits early could outlive you. If you were to die before your spouse, they would be eligible to receive your monthly amount as a survivor benefitif it’s higher than their own amount. But if you take your benefits early, say at age 62 versus waiting until age 70, your spouse’s survivor Social Security benefit could be up to 30% less for the remainder of their lifetime.
Read Also: Social Security T
Can You Still Work While Receiving Social Security
You can continue to work while you receive Social Security benefits. But there is a limit to how much you can earn and still receive full benefits. The earning limit may be adjusted each year.
If you earn above the limit, Social Security will deduct a certain amount of your benefits each year.
Social Security Benefits, Earning Limits and Penalties
|SSA deducts $1 from your benefits for every $3 you earn above the limit|
Houston Social Security Office Hours Of Operation
The Social Security offices in Houston, TX are closed due to COVID 19 precautions. The best way to speak to someone at Social Security is by calling 800.772.1213 Monday through Friday from 8 am to 7 pm.
If your situation is urgent, your Houston office may allow you to make an in-person appointment. You can learn more about how to make an emergency appointment with a Houston Social Security office below.
Retirement Or Spouses Benefits
You need to be at least 61 years old and 9 months in order to claim these benefits. Another added requirement you also need to want your benefits to start in no more than four months. Applying for retirement benefits is essentially changing your financial status with the IRS and the SSA, which can have monetary ramifications if you change your mind or make changes outside of the allowable timeframes. Make sure to use the online tools to properly align your benefits with your goals. The online application for retirement and spouses benefits can be found here.
How Long Do You Intend To Work
The last major factor into how work will affect your disability claim is how long you expect to keep working.
This affects applicants for disability differently from current recipients of disability:
- Disability applicants who wish to return to work one day may choose to file for unemployment benefits.
- Those who already receive disability may try to return to work. However, if you earn a certain amount of money and work for a certain amount of time, you may trigger a trial work period.
Should I Wait Until Full Retirement Age To Apply For Social Security
Receiving Social Security at age 62 means that you will receive a reduced payment compared with waiting for full retirement age. For those born in 1960 or later, the reduction is 30%, and all reductions are permanent. If you delay taking your benefits past full retirement age, then you receive an 8% increase for each full year that you do so, up until you reach 70, at which point the increases stop.
Every individual can calculate their own full retirement age based on their specific birthday, to consider locking in the maximum amount of Social Security benefits.
The Downside Of Claiming Early: Reduced Benefits
Consider the following hypothetical example. Colleen is 62 as of 2022. If Colleen waits until age 67 to collect, she will receive approximately $2,000 a month. However, if she begins taking benefits at age 62, she’ll receive only $1,400 a month. This “early retirement” penalty is permanent and results in her receiving up to 30% less year after year.
However, if Colleen waits until age 70, her monthly benefits will increase another 24% over what she would receive at her FRA, to a total of $2,480 per month.1 If she were to live to age 89, her lifetime benefits would be about $112,000 more, or at least 24% greater, because she waited until age 70 to collect Social Security benefits.2
Also Check: Social Security Find Person
How To Make A Social Security Appointment During The Covid 19 Pandemic
The Houston Social Security offices will only allow in-person appointments during the COVID 19 pandemic if you have an urgent situation. Reasons that a Social Security office in Houston would grant you an in-person appointment include:
- You do not have food, housing, utilities, or medical coverage and need to apply or have your Social Security benefits reinstated.
- You have Social Security benefits and need food, shelter, or some other basic need, but cannot receive an electronic payment.
To make an in-person appointment you will need to call the Houston Social Security office near you. You can find the listing above in the section titled Houston Social Security Offices.
If your situation is not urgent, you are encouraged to communicate with Social Security online, by phone at 800.772.1213, or by fax.
Avoiding Accidental Retroactive Applications
When you file a Social Security application online, the application asks when you want your benefits to start. Similarly, if you file by phone or in person, the SSA employee with whom you speak is supposed to ask when you want your benefits to start. But there have been cases in which the SSA employee doesnt ask. Instead, they just start the applicants benefit immediately, with the maximum possible retroactivity . And, in some cases, thats not what the applicant actually wanted.
So its always important to be clear about exactly when you want your benefit to begin .
You May Like: What Is The Full Social Security Benefit Amount
Auxiliary Benefits For Spouses
Auxiliary, or spousal, benefits can be as much as half of the primary workers benefit amount, depending on the age of the spouse when they retire. A spouse can choose to retire as early as age 62, but the benefit amount will be reduced .
The benefit amount can be reduced by a certain percentage for each month before you reach full retirement age. If the spouse is eligible for their own retirement benefits, they are paid either the retirement benefit or the spousal benefit, whichever is greater.
Apply For Medicare Online
You can also apply for Medicare online at the Social Security website. Medicare is the government health insurance plan that provides healthcare to individuals 65 and older or those with a disability that has lasted for longer than 24 months.
You can also do the following things online:
- Return to a saved Medicare application.
- Check the status of your Medicare application online
- Apply for the Extra Help program which will cover copays and coinsurance costs of your Medicare Part D drug plans.
To perform any of these task-related to Medicare, simply visit the SSA website or visit a Houston Social Security office.
How To Get A Social Security Number
There are two ways that you can get a social security number and card:
1. If you are age 18 or older, you can apply for a social security number in your home country when you apply for an immigrant visa with the U.S. Department of State. The U.S. government will use the same information that you give to apply for an immigrant visa to apply for an SSN.
Your social security card will arrive at your mailing address about three weeks after you arrive in the U.S. If you apply for the Social Security number outside of the U.S., you do not have to visit an American Social Security office after entry into the United States.
2. If you are not an immigrant or did not apply for a Social Security number when you applied for an immigrant visa, you must bring your petition and approval notices showing your legal immigration status and approved authorization to work in the United States. Then you should apply for a Social Security number and card by visiting a Social Security office in the U.S.
The Social Security Administration recommends that you wait ten days after arriving in the country to “make it easier for us to verify your Department of Homeland Security documents online, which will speed processing of your Social Security number application.” Applying for a Social Security number is free.
Full Retirement Age: Age 6567 Depending On Date Of Birth
Your full retirement age is determined by your day and year of birth, and it is the age in which you get your full amount of Social Security benefits. For every year you delay taking your benefits from full retirement age up until you turn 70, your benefit amount will increase by almost 8% a year. It is referred to as a delayed retirement credit. This increase can result in more lifetime income for you and your spouse. Even after factoring in a potential return on investment and the monthly benefits you could have received if you claimed early, there can still be a $50,000$100,000 increase in lifetime benefits by waiting until you are older.
Can I Qualify For Ssi While Collecting Social Security Retirement Benefits
While you cannot collect Social Security retirement and SSDI at the same time to increase your benefits beyond the full retirement amount, there is a program that may allow you to collect additional income.
SSI is a Social Security program that helps seniors and those with a disability who have an extremely low income. To qualify for SSI, you need to meet strict income qualifications and have only a minimum amount of resources. Under this program, your retirement or SSDI checks count as unearned income. According to the SSA, the average retirement benefit in 2017 is $1,360 per month. However, many people receive well below this average.
To qualify for SSI, there is a 2017 limit of $755 per month on unearned income. The limit for couples is $1,123 per month. You also need to meet other financial qualifications to receive these benefits.
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.
Recommended Reading: When To Apply For Social Security Benefits At Age 70
What Is The Future Of Social Security
Social Security is expected to run out of cash reserves in 2034, according to the Old-Age and Survivors Insurance Trust Fund, the retirement benefits account managed by the Social Security Administration.
However, this doesnt mean the program would be bankrupt and unable to pay out benefits. If Congress does nothing to reform the system by 2034, Social Security would still be able to pay 79 percent of promised benefits until 2090.
Social Security has run out of cash reserves before. Congress reformed the program in the 1980s by taxing benefits based on income levels and by gradually increasing the full retirement age from 65 to 67.
Can You Collect Social Security Retirement And Disability At The Same Time
In most cases, you cannot collect Social Security retirement and Social Security Disability Insurance at the same time. You may, however, qualify for Supplemental Security Income if you meet the strict financial criteria while drawing either Social Security retirement or SSDI benefits.
The Social Security Administration created the SSDI program to bridge the gap between when someone must leave the workforce due to a disability and when they can draw retirement benefits. For this reason, there is only one way to collect both retirement and SSDI at the same time.
What About Taxes On Social Security
Keep in mind that Social Security benefits may be taxable, depending on your combined income. Your combined income is equal to your adjusted gross income , plus non-taxable interest payments , plus half of your Social Security benefit.
As your combined income increases above a certain threshold , more of your benefit is subject to income tax, up to a maximum of 85%. For help, talk with a CPA or tax professional.
In any case, if youre still working, you may want to postpone Social Security either until you reach your full retirement age or until your earned income is less than the annual limit. In no situation should you postpone benefits past age 70.
Social Security Benefits For Surviving Spouses
If your spouse was receiving Social Security benefits upon their death, you must report the death as soon as possible. You can call the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213 between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. on weekdays or visit your local Social Security office in person.
You are eligible for a one-time, lump-sum death benefit of $255 from Social Security if:
- You were receiving benefits on your spouses record at the time of death, or
- If you were living in the same household as your spouse at the time of death.
Any benefits received in the name of your spouse during the month of death or later must be returned to the Social Security Administration as soon as possible.
If your spouse worked long enough under Social Security, you may be eligible for Social Security benefits. You must be age 60 or older or disabled and 50 or older to qualify.
How much youll receive depends on the percentage of your spouses benefit as well as your age and the type of benefit youre eligible for.
You must apply for survivor benefits in person. You can call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 to request an appointment.
Beware The Social Security Earnings Test
Bringing in too much money in earned income can cost you if you continue to work after claiming Social Security benefits early. With what is commonly known as the Social Security earnings test, you will forfeit $1 in benefits for every $2 you make over the earnings limit, which in 2021 is $18,960. Once you are past full retirement age, the earnings test disappears, and you can make as much money as you want with no impact on benefits.
Any Social Security benefits forfeited to the earnings test are not lost forever. At your full retirement age, the Social Security Administration will recalculate your benefits to take into account benefits lost to the test. For example, if you claim benefits at 62 and over the next four years lose one full years worth of benefits to the earnings test, at a full retirement age of 66 your benefits will be recomputed — and increased — as if you had taken benefits three years early, instead of four. That basically means the lifetime reduction in benefits would be 20% rather than 25%.