Do You Have A Medical Condition That Prevents You From Being Able To Work For A Year Or More
Social Security and SSI disability benefits are reserved for people who have severe medical conditions that make it impossible for them to work for at least 12 months. To be eligible for disability, you either have to have not done a significant amount of work for a year OR you must be expected to not be able to work a significant amount for at least a year. . For more information, read about how long you have to be disabled before you can get disability benefits.
If youve been off work for just a month or two when you apply, Social Security might deny your claim initially to see whether your impairment continues to keep you from working long term or if it improves. The same goes for medical conditions that involve impairments that are often temporary, such as having a broken leg, recovering from hip surgery, or suffering from whiplash after a car accident. If you apply based on one of these conditions, Social Security may quickly deny you if you appeal, Social Security will review your case and could approve you if you are still unable to work.
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Can You Receive Social Security Benefits And Survivor Benefits At The Same Time
Social Security allows you to claim both a retirement and a survivor benefit at the same time, but the two wont be added together to produce a bigger payment you will receive the higher of the two amounts. For both retirement and survivor benefits, the payment amount rises if you wait past the minimum age to apply.
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 you’re 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.
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Am I Eligible For Social Security Benefits
Social Security was created in 1935, with the passing of the Social Security Act. This legislation was necessary because up until this time, there was no government program available to assist the elderly once they stopped working or became disabled. Before 1935, the care of the elderly was left up to the individual, family members, and states and towns. Currently all people who have worked in the United States, and qualify for Social Security, will receive a benefit. A Social Security Benefits Lawyer at Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C. can investigate your particular case if you have questions about your coverage.
With the Social Security system, a person must work at least ten years and pay into the system to be eligible for benefits. This system is based on a credit earning calculation. Updated in 2019, the law requires a person to have an income of at least $1,360 to earn one credit towards Social Security, and they can earn only four credits per year. Once they earn 40 credits, usually after ten years, then they are eligible for benefits. However, the compensation awarded through Social Security payouts is not available immediately. Social Security places age requirements on this benefit.
Financial Benefits Of Working Longer
Many people want to retire as soon as it is financially feasible to do so, but it’s crucial to consider the earning and investing power you may give up if you stop working full-time and take Social Security at 62. If you leave a job with good pay and benefits, it may be difficult ever to regain that level of compensation if you need or want to return to work later. Of course, not everyone can keep working, but it is something to consider if you are healthy and have the opportunity to stay in the workforce, in either a full-time or part-time capacity.
The compensation benefits of your job could also affect your Social Security. Some companies allow stock awards to continue to vest after retirement date, and even into years to follow. These payouts are considered income, and could cause your Social Security payment to be taxed, or taxed at a higher level than in years after the awards have fully distributed. Delaying Social Security payments until those other income sources have been reported for tax purposes is worth consideration.
But there’s even more to the story. As you approach retirement, you’re often at the upper end of your lifetime earnings trajectoryand of your ability to save more for retirement. In addition, if you can keep working, you can make “catch-up” contributions to a tax-deferred workplace savings plan like a 401 or 403 or a traditional or Roth IRA. Catch-up contributions allow you to set aside larger amounts of money for retirement.
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If You Were Born Between 1943 And 1954 Your Full Retirement Age Is 66
You can start your Social Security retirement benefits as early as age 62, but the benefit amount you receive will be less than your full retirement benefit amount.
The chart below provides examples of the percentage of your full retirement benefit amount you and your spouse would receive from age 62 up to your full retirement age.
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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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 you’ve 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, let’s 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.
What Are The Eligibility Criteria
The earlier requirements were generic. You can get spouses/survivor benefits if
Along with these, if your elderly parent was working, but became disabled before reaching full retirement age, then he/she can be eligible for disability benefits. If they are eligible, then that persons spouse too is eligible for dependents benefits at 65, or possibly at the age of 62, as well, which is referred to as early retirement social security.
Others who are eligible for the benefits are the disabled. One of the most important requirements for a person to be eligible for disability benefits is that the person who is applying for the benefits has to be unable to indulge in any type of productive/previous work. The disability, moreover, has to be a medically serious condition.
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Certain Immigrants Over Age 65
Retired people who immigrate to the United States will not have the 40 U.S. work credits that they need to qualify for Social Security benefits. One way to rectify this problem is to earn six work credits in the United States and receive prorated U.S. benefits combined with prorated benefits from their former country under a totalization agreement. This solution makes sense for workers who also do not have enough benefits in their home country to qualify for that countrys equivalent of Social Security payments.
Older immigrants who do not qualify for U.S. Social Security and whose countries laws allow them to receive benefit payments while residing abroad can claim their Social Security or pensioners benefits while living in the U.S.
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.
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You’ll Turn 70 Before You Start Receiving Monthly Benefits
Finally — and perhaps most important — only individuals who are 70 years of age when they begin collecting their monthly Social Security payments this year will see checks of $4,194.
You can start accepting benefits when you’re as young as 62, but even if you’ve met all of the above criteria, your checks will still only be worth $2,364. Retiring at a more typical 65 years of ago would cap your 2022 monthly payment at $3,240, assuming you earned the maximum taxable income for at least 35 years.
For the record, you aren’t required to start collecting Social Security checks simply because you retired. You can delay them if you choose, if you’re in a financial position to do so, but most people just aren’t. Also know that delaying benefits beyond the age of 70 in no way improves the size of your checks once you do start to collect them.
Paying Taxes On Your Retirement Benefits
Social Security retirement benefit recipients must pay Federal income taxes on their benefits. Due to personal income levels, about one-third of recipients actually have to pay some amount annually.
Each year, the Social Security Administration will mail recipients a Form SSA-1099 that shows the amount of benefits received during the preceding year. This form should be used to complete tax returns and help determine in any taxes are owed.
As a general rule, if you file as an individual and your combined income is between $25,000 and $34,000, you may have to pay taxes on up to 50 percent of your Social Security benefits. If your combined income is more than $34,000 you may be required to pay taxes on up to 85 percent of your benefits.
If you file a joint return and you and your spouses income is between $32,000 and $44,000, then 50 percent of your benefits may be taxed. If your combined income is about $44,000, then up to 85 percent of your benefits may be subject to income tax.
To assist with tax planning, Social Security can withhold Federal taxes throughout the year for benefit recipients which may be preferable to making quarterly estimated tax payments.
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What Other Factors Should You Consider When Deciding To Collect Social Security
Before you decide to collect Social Security based on your break even point, you should also consider how collecting early or delaying could impact the benefit your spouse receives.
Since the Social Security formula benefit is based on an individual’s 35 highest earning years, women often collect less in benefits than men because of career breaks during motherhood and overall lower lifetime earnings. However, the Social Security spousal benefit erases some of the disparity in Social Security earnings between men and women.
The spousal benefit is available to all spouses, regardless of whether the spouse has a work history or not . The spousal benefit is 50% of the higher earner’s benefit and in order for a spouse to receive the benefit, the higher-earner must be collecting their own benefit.
The Social Security administration automatically determines whether an individual would earn more in Social Security benefits if they collected on their own work record versus their partner’s work record.
For example, if the higher earner receives a $2,000 monthly benefit, the spouse is eligible to receive up to $1,000, depending on whether they choose to wait until full retirement age, says Kiner. For example, if someone collects the spousal benefit four years before full retirement age, their benefit will be 35% of the higher-earner’s benefits.
What If You Live Abroad
Most U.S. citizens who live in foreign countries after they retire can receive Social Security benefits. However, the U.S. government will not send Social Security payments to those living in Cuba or North Korea. Additionally, Americans living in Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan must qualify for an exception in order to receive benefits while living abroad.
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Taking Social Security: How To Benefit By Waiting
For those who are able to do so, it may make sense to wait even longer, because youll receive a larger monthly benefit even more than your full benefit. Every month past your full retirement that you delay, Social Security will increase your check by about 0.7 percent per month.
If your full retirement age is 66, then heres how much your check would increase:
|Retirement age||New benefit||A $1,000 check becomes|
So if your full retirement age is 66, then if you can wait two more years and claim benefits at age 68, youll increase your monthly check by 16 percent. In this case, if your full benefit were $1,000 a month, your new benefit would become $1,160 per month. And youll still receive cost of living adjustments on top of this amount, typically raising your payout a little each year.
Workers have other ways to grow their Social Security benefits, too, but its important to start early.
Social Security Disability Programs
In addition to retirement benefits, the Social Security Administration manages two programs that provide benefits to people who are disabled or blind.
- Social Security Disability Insurance Program
- SSDI supports disabled or blind individuals by providing benefits based on their workers contributions to the Social Security trust fund. Your contributions are based on your earnings or your spouses or parents earnings while in the workforce. Your dependents may also be eligible for SSDI benefits based on your earnings.
- Supplemental Security Income Program
- SSI benefits are paid out as cash assistance to people with limited incomes and resources who are elderly, blind or disabled. These benefits may also include blind or disabled children. SSI payments are a federal benefit funded by the general fund of the United States not the Social Security trust fund. Some states provide additional state supplemental benefits in addition to the federal SSI payments.
In some cases, people may be eligible for both SSI and SSDI at the same time. The Social Security Administration calls these concurrent benefits. This can happen when a disability qualifies you for Social Security Disability Benefits, but you only get a small amount of monthly SSDI benefits. This may qualify you to receive SSI benefits as well.
Comparing SSDI and SSI Programs
|Up to 85%|
Income Taxes for Other Benefit Programs
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Know Your Social Security Full Retirement Age
First things first:Determine your Social Security full retirement age. For people born between 1943 and 1954, full retirement age is 66. If your birthday falls between 1955 and 1959, it gradually climbs to 67. If you are born in 1960 or later, your full retirement age is 67.
You can claim your Social Security benefits a few years before or after your full retirement age, and your monthly benefit amount will vary as a result. More on that in a moment.
Who Can Qualify For Social Security Benefits
To qualify for Social Security retirement benefits, in most cases:
- You must be 62+ years old, or disabled/unable to work, and
- You must have sufficient credits earned throughout your working life.3
To qualify for Social Security spousal retirement benefits:
- You must be married to a retired worker , and
- You must have a child under age 16 or a disabled child in your care, or
- You are 62+ years old.2
To qualify for Social Security disability benefits if you are under the age of 62:
- You must be 18+ years old and unable to work due to physical or mental disability, and
- Your condition is expected to last at least a year or may result in death.3
You may still qualify for Social Security disability benefits without earning the required 40 credits, depending on the circumstances. Your lifetime earnings and benefits help determine your monthly disability benefit amount.
To qualify for Social Security survivors benefits:
- You must be a widow or widower who is 60+ years old , or
- You must be a widow or widower caring for the deceaseds child who is under the age of 16 or disabled, or
- You must be a surviving divorced spouse , or
- A dependent parent who is 62+ years old, or
- You must be an unmarried child of the deceased and are:
- Under 18 years old , or
- 18+ years old with a disability that occurred before you turned 22.3
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