Wednesday, April 27, 2022

When You Sign Up For Social Security

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Spouses And Social Security

How To Sign Up For My Social Security Account Online

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.

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.

How Your Social Security Benefits Are Earned

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 each 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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C You Can Continue Working And Not Receive Your Retirement Benefits

If you decide to continue working and not start your benefits until after full retirement age, your benefits will increase for each month you do not receive them until you reach age 70. There is no incentive to delay filing for your benefits after age 70. Continuing to work may also increase your benefits, because your current earnings could replace an earlier year of lower or no earnings, which can result in a higher benefit amount.

If you are not receiving your Social Security benefits when you turn 65, you will need to apply for Original Medicare three months before you turn 65. If you dont sign up for Medicare Part B when youre first eligible at age 65, you may have to pay a late enrollment penalty for as long as you have Medicare coverage.

However, if you or your spouse are still working and covered under an employer-provided group health plan, talk to your personnel office before signing up for Medicare Part B. Once the covered employment ends, you may be eligible for a Special Enrollment Period to sign up for Part B. If so, you wont have to pay a late enrollment penalty.

How Will Your Decision Affect Your Spouse

before

can either receive their own Social Security benefit, if they worked long enough to qualify, or a spousal benefit. This is up to 50% of their partners benefit at their FRA. Signing up early not only reduces your own benefit it also reduces the spousal benefit your partner qualifies for. Unfortunately, delaying benefits past your FRA doesnt boost your partners checks.

Coordinating with your spouse is key to getting the most household benefits possible. Sometimes that means having one person sign up early. When one partner has earned significantly more over their lives than the other, its more important for the higher earner to delay. Sometimes, its advantageous for the lower earner to sign up right away.

Their benefit can provide the couple with some supplementary income, which can enable the higher earner to delay. Then, when the higher earner signs up, the Social Security Administration will automatically switch the lower earner over to a spousal benefit if its worth more than what they qualify for on their own. This can result in more money for the household overall.

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Get More Out Of Social Security

Regardless of what your nest egg looks like in retirement, you’ll probably want to get the most you can out of Social Security. These moves could be your ticket to snagging a higher benefit — and enjoying the freedom that comes with it.

The $16,728 Social Security bonus most retirees completely overlook

If you’re like most Americans, you’re a few years behind on your retirement savings. But a handful of little-known “Social Security secrets” could help ensure a boost in your retirement income. For example: one easy trick could pay you as much as $16,728 more… each year! Once you learn how to maximize your Social Security benefits, we think you could retire confidently with the peace of mind we’re all after. Simply click here to discover how to learn more about these strategies.

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Do You Have A Security Freeze Or Fraud Alert On Your Credit Report

If you have a security freeze, fraud alert, or both on your credit report, you can still open a mySocial Security account by temporarily lifting it.

  • Contact our Identity Services Provider and request that they temporarily lift your security freeze or fraud alert.
  • Create a mySocial Security account online after lifting the security freeze or fraud alert.
  • Reinstate the security freeze or fraud alert with the Identity Services Provider if needed. When you request a temporary lift of your credit freeze or fraud alert, the Identity Services Provider may automatically reinstate it after your temporary lift expires.
  • If you dont want to temporarily lift your security freeze or fraud alert, you can visit your local Social Security office to open an account in person. For more information on security freezes and fraud alerts, read the Federal Trade Commissions .

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    When Benefits Will Begin

    If your application is approved before you reach at least the minimum retirement age for people born in the same year as you, you will typically begin receiving your Social Security retirement benefits one month after you are entitled to receive them. For instance, if you are eligible to receive benefits beginning in February, you will receive your first payment in March.

    When Should You Retire

    How do I sign up for Social Security benefits?

    To draw full retirement benefits, the following Social Security Administration age rules apply:

    Born in 1937 or earlier â Full retirement can be drawn at age 65Born in 1938 â Full retirement can be drawn at age 65 years and 2 monthsBorn in 1939 â Full retirement can be drawn at age 65 years and 4 monthsBorn in 1940 â Full retirement can be drawn at age 65 years and 6 monthsBorn in 1941 â Full retirement can be drawn at age 65 years and 8 monthsBorn in 1942 â Full retirement can be drawn at age 65 years and 10 monthsBorn in 1943-1954 â Full retirement can be drawn at age 66Born in 1955 â Full retirement can be drawn at age 66 and 2 monthsBorn in 1956 â Full retirement can be drawn at age 66 and 4 monthsBorn in 1957 â Full retirement can be drawn at age 66 and 6 monthsBorn in 1958 â Full retirement can be drawn at age 66 and 8 monthsBorn in 1959 â Full retirement can be drawn at age 66 and 10 monthsBorn in 1960 or later â Full retirement can be drawn at age 67

    Remember that while you can begin drawing Social Security retirement benefits at age 62, your benefits will be 25 percent less than what they will be if you wait until your full retirement age as shown above. Also keep in mind that no matter when you start drawing Social Security benefits, you must be 65 to be eligible for Medicare.

    For example, people who waited until age 70 to retire in 2017 could get a maximum benefit of $3,538.

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    Do You Automatically Get Medicare With Social Security

    Medicare and Social Security are two benefits programs managed by the United States government. Medicare currently has over 61 million beneficiaries.

    Both federal initiatives are linked, meaning that many individuals receiving Social Security payments may automatically receive Medicare benefits once they qualify for Medicare based on age or disability.

    In this article we review how people can receive Medicare health insurance coverage alongside their Social Security benefits.

    If You’re Not Sure Why You Received A Payment

    If you receive a check or direct deposit payment from the Treasury Department and do not know what its for, contact the regional financial center that issued it.

    If you received a check, look for the RFCs city and state at the top center. Then contact that RFC to find out which federal agency authorized the payment. It will be one of these:

    If you received payment byelectronic funds transfer , or direct deposit, follow the directions under Find Information About a Payment.

    Use the Treasury Check Verification System to verify that the check is legitimate and issued by the government.

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    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

    FEATURE
    Up to 85%

    Income Taxes for Other Benefit Programs

    Theres A Social Security Spousal Benefit

    You work hard  now let us work for you! Sign up for a âmy ...

    Marriage brings couples an advantage when it comes to Social Security. Namely, one spouse can take whats called a spousal benefit, worth up to 50% of the other spouses Social Security benefit. Put simply, if your monthly Social Security benefit is worth $2,000 but your spouses own benefit is only worth $500, your spouse can collect a spousal benefit worth $1,000 bringing in $500 more in income per month. Just as the benefit based on your own work history is reduced if you claim it early, the same is true for a spousal benefit. That 50% figure is the maximum amount that only a spouse who is at least full retirement age is eligible for. Taking the spousal benefit early at, say, age 62, reduces the amount to as little as 32.5% of the higher earners benefit. If you take your own benefit early and then later switch to a spousal benefit, your spousal benefit will still be reduced.

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    A Reader Poses A Question Thats Trickier Than It Seems

    One of the things I think Im pretty good at is answering questions about federal retirement, but a recent email about Social Security left me stumpedtwice.

    Greg, a longtime federal employee, wrote to me:

    Social Security benefits max out at age 70, I get that. But filing too soon loses a portion of the maximum amount, and filing too late loses a whole monthly benefit. I have searched all over, and nowhere can I find out exactly what the best date is to request benefits begin. My wife reaches age 70 in the middle of April and we were wondering how to maximize her benefit by selecting the best starting date.

    I thought Greg was asking a very common question: When is the best time to file for Social Security retirement? So I replied as follows:

    There are a lot of theories about claiming Social Security benefits. Social Security has a fact sheet on this question as well. There are many factors that can influence the best time for you:

    • Are you married or single?
    • What is the age difference between you and spouse, if married.
    • What is the income difference between you and your spouse, if married.
    • Do you have children age 18 or younger?
    • Are you widowed?
    • Are you still working or fully retired?
    • Do you have other sources of retirement income that could bridge the time between retirement and a later application for Social Security?
    • Do you have good health and family history that shows longevity?

    Manage Consent Preferences

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    How Direct Express Card Works

    Each month, on your benefits deposit date, your federal payment will be sent directly into

    Your monthly funds will be available on your payment day ontime, every time.

    You can use the Direct Express card to make purchases, pay bills, or get cash atthousands of locations.

    Also, most transactions are free, including a wide ATM network to get cash at no cost.

    Additionally, with the Direct Express card, you no longer have to wait for the mail or worryabout lost or stolen checks.

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    What You Need For Apply For Ssdi Or Ssi Benefits

    You will get a faster decision when you apply for Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income with the Social Security Administration if you provide:

    • Your Social Security number
    • Names, addresses, phone and fax numbers of your doctors, clinics and hospitals
    • Names of all medications you are taking
    • Names of your employers and job duties for the last 15 years

    If you are applying for a child, you also need school records regarding your childâs disability.

    IMPORTANT NOTE: Donât wait to file your claim for disability payments even if you donât have all this information.

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    Social Security Benefits For Surviving Spouses

    Turning 65? How to Sign Up for Medicare and Social Security

    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.

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    The Ins And Outs Of Applying For Social Security Benefits

    Pundits spend a good deal of time advising Americans about the best age to claim Social Security at age 62, at full retirement age, at age 70 and the like.

    But they hardly ever discuss the nuts and bolts of applying for Social Security benefits. They should.

    You see, the seemingly simple act of completing an application for retirement, spouses, disability benefits isnt always as straightforward as you might think. I had a client once who described this as the most complicated and bureaucratic process known to mankind, says Robin Brewton, the chief operations officer for Social Security Solutions.

    Heres what experts say you need to know.

    Start three months before you want payments. It doesnt take that long to clear a claimno way, says Andy Landis, author of Social Security: The Inside Story. But allows time to iron out any wrinkles that come up, like finding your military discharge form DD Form 214, Discharge Papers and Separation Documents or other documents. Then its clear sailing to your first payment.

    Others suggest the same. If you want benefits to start on your 66th birth month go to the Social Security office three months prior to your birth month, says Ted Sarenski, the CEO of Blue Ocean Strategic Capital. Social Security will only give retroactive benefits six months prior so in no case go to them more than six months past your birth month if you intend to begin benefits on your birth month.

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