Thursday, May 19, 2022

Who Is Eligible To Collect Social Security Retirement Benefits

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If You’re Not A Us Citizen

Who is eligible for Social Security Retirement benefits?

Non-U.S. citizens can be subject to another set of rules, depending on the country they are citizens of, where they are living, and what kind of Social Security benefits they are claiming. These rules are determined in many cases by so-called “totalization agreements” between the U.S. and more than 25 other nations. You can find a list of totalization agreements and links to them on the Social Security Administration website.

If you’re receiving dependent or survivors benefits, you may need to meet additional residency requirements, as explained in the Social Security booklet “Your Payments While You Are Outside the United States.”

In limited instances, Social Security will stop paying benefits to recipients who leave the United States for six months or more but will resume them if the person later returns for at least a full month.

Non-U.S. citizens can also use the Social Security Administration’s Payments Abroad Screening Tool to determine if they are eligible to collect benefits outside of the U.S.

American citizens can collect Social Security benefitsbut not Supplemental Security Income in most, but not all, countries outside the U.S.

Delay Starting To Collect Benefits

Each of us can start collecting our benefits as early as age 62 and as late as age 70. For each of us, there’s a full retirement age in between, at which we can collect the full benefits to which we’re entitled, based on our earnings history. If you start collecting your benefit checks before your full retirement age, they will be smaller . Conversely, for each year beyond your full retirement age that you delay , they’ll grow about 8% bigger .

The table below shows how much of your full benefits you’ll receive, depending on when you start collecting:

Start Collecting at:

124%

Data source: Social Security Administration.

Not everyone can afford to delay some will simply need that retirement income as soon as they can get it, perhaps due to an unexpected job loss or health setback. But if you can delay, it will boost the size of your benefit checks.

Benefits May Be Taxable

You will have to pay taxes on your benefits if you file a federal tax return as an individual and your total income is more than $25,000. If you file a joint return and you and your spouse make more than $32,000 jointly, you will have to pay taxes on your benefits. For more information, call the InternalRevenue Service at 800-829-3676.

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How To Receive Federal Benefits

To begin receiving your federal benefits, like Social Security or veterans benefits, you must sign up for electronic payments with direct deposit.

If You Have a Bank or Credit Union Account:

  • Call the Go Direct Helpline at .

If You Don’t have a Bank or Credit Union Account:

Make Changes to an Existing Direct Deposit Account:

Learn how to make changes to an existing direct deposit account. You also may contact the federal agency that pays your benefit for help with your enrollment.

Workers Who Die Before Age 62

How Medicare and Social Security Work Together

The minimum age to start claiming Social Security retirement benefits is 62. If someone dies prematurely, then dependent children and spouses may be entitled to survivor benefits. At age 60, for example, widows and widowers can begin receiving Social Security benefits based on their deceased spouses earnings record . Terminally ill patients can apply for Social Security Disability Insurance , which means they will still receive some benefit from their contributions to the system.

What if you are terminally ill and have reached the minimum retirement age? If you are single, claiming right away may be the most sensible strategy. However, if you have a spouse, postponing may provide your spouse with greater benefits. The spousal benefit can be as much as 50% of the worker’s benefit, depending on the spouse’s age at retirement and if the spouse is eligible for retirement benefits based on their own earnings record. The Social Security Administration has an online calculator that helps determine benefits for spouses.

If you do not qualify for Social Security payments, then you will need to ensure that you have sufficient income to support your lifestyle in retirement.

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Social Security Benefits For Children

More than four million children receive Social Security benefits each month because one or both of their parents are disabled, deceased or retired.

These funds help stabilize families and children at a critical time in their lives, helping them to complete high school and give them a good start toward college or being able to work full time with a high school diploma.

Biological, adopted and dependent step-children are eligible to get benefits if they meet certain criteria:

  • At least one parent who is disabled or retired and eligible for Social Security benefits.
  • A parent who passed away after attaining enough work credits in a job where he or she paid Social Security taxes.
  • The child must be unmarried and under age 18, or
  • 18-19 years old and a full-time student who is in no higher than grade 12. College students are excluded.
  • 18 years or older and disabled.

When a child meets these criteria and a parent begins receiving Social Security retirement benefits, the child may be eligible for up to half of the parents full benefit amount or 75 percent if the parent is deceased. However, there is a maximum amount per family that ranges from 150 to 180 percent of the parents full benefit amount. When payments exceed this threshold, each family members benefit is reduced proportionally until the total is equal to the maximum amount allowed for the family.

I Am Expecting To Collect A Spousal Or Widows Benefit Under Social Security Will I Receive A Reduced Benefit Since I Will Be Receiving A Retirement Allowance From The Mtrs

If you expect to collect a spousal or widows benefit under Social Security, these benefits may be reduced by two-thirds of the amount of your MTRS retirement allowance. You will be exempt from this Government Pension Offset if you meet all the requirements for Social Security spousal benefits in effect in 1977 and

  • you had 20 years of creditable service under the MTRS before December 1, 1982 or
  • you were age 55 and had at least 10 years of creditable service before December 1, 1982 or
  • you were age 55 or had 20 years of creditable service before July 1, 1983 and you received half support from your spouse.

In all cases, the Social Security Administration requires that male retirees of the MTRS must have received at least half support from their wives to apply for spousal benefits.

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Social Security Benefits For Survivors

Upon a Social Security beneficiarys death, their surviving family may be eligible for benefits. These are called survivors benefits.

Generally, survivors receive 75% to 100% of the beneficiarys basic Social Security benefit with total family limits ranging from 150% to 180%.

Surviving spouses or minor children may be eligible for a one-time payment of $255 survivors benefit upon the death of the beneficiary.

A survivors eligibility for benefits depends on their relationship to the deceased beneficiary and possibly other factors such as their age, disability status, , dependency status, student status, benefits status, and childcare responsibilities.

Type of Survivor
Eligible if they were your dependent for at least half their support

What Is A Social Security Card

Who Is Eligible For The $4,194 Social Security Benefit In 2022?

Your Social Security card is an important piece of identification. You’ll need one to get a job, collect Social Security, or receive other government benefits.

When you apply for a Social Security number , the Social Security Administration will assign you a nine-digit number. This is the same number that is printed on the Social Security card that SSA will issue you. If you change your name, you will need to get a corrected card.

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Get Your Social Security Estimates

The SSA website provides estimates for how much you’ll collect if you start receiving benefits at age 62, your full retirement age , and age 70. Remember that you don’t have to start taking your benefits at those milestone ages you and your spouse can start collecting anytime between ages 62 and 70.

Is My Spouse Eligible To Receive Social Security Spousal Benefits

Spouses are eligible to receive 50 percent of their spouses full retirement benefit if they wait until they reach full retirement age. If they apply for a spousal retirement benefit before that time, the amount is pro-rated, depending on the age at which the spouse applies. For example:

If a spouse applies for a spousal retirement benefit at age 62 and the full retirement benefit is age 67, the applicant will get 32.5 percent of the spousal benefit.

If a spouse applies for a spousal retirement benefit at age 62 and the full retirement benefit is age 65, the applicant will get 37.5 percent of the spousal benefit.

The benefit increases as ages go up, to a maximum of 50 percent at full retirement age. It should also be noted that only one spouse can apply for a spouses benefit when a couple is married.

In cases of divorce, the divorced spouse can get retirement benefits on the spouses record if the marriage lasted for at least 10 years. To collect this benefit, the spouse must be at least 62 years old and not married. That benefit does not impact the amount a spouse and their current married partner can get.

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What’s Full Retirement Age

Full retirement age is when you’re eligible to receive full Social Security benefits. Your full retirement age depends on your birth year: Under current law, if you were born in 1955 or later, your full retirement age can be anywhere between age 66 and 2 monthsall the way up to age 67 for those born after 1959. If you were born before 1955, you’ve already reached age 66 and full retirement age.

Retirement ages for full Social Security benefits

If you were born in

Your full retirement age is

1954 or earlier

Why You Can Trust Bankrate

When to Take Social Security Retirement Benefits

Founded in 1976, Bankrate has a long track record of helping people make smart financial choices. Weve maintained this reputation for over four decades by demystifying the financial decision-making process and giving people confidence in which actions to take next.

Bankrate follows a strict editorial policy, so you can trust that were putting your interests first. All of our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts, who ensure everything we publish is objective, accurate and trustworthy.

Our reporters and editors focus on the points consumers care about most how to save for retirement, understanding the types of accounts, how to choose investments and more so you can feel confident when planning for your future.

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How Do Benefits Work And How Can I Qualify

While you work, you pay Social Security taxes. This tax money goes into a trust fund that pays benefits to:

  • Those who are currently retired

  • To people with disabilities

  • To the surviving spouses and children of workers who have died

Each year you work, youll get credits to help you become eligible for benefits when its time for you to retire. Find all the benefits Social Security Administration offers.

There are four main types of benefits that the SSA offers:

  • Learn about earning limits if you plan to work while receiving 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

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Use Our Full Retirement Age Calculator For Social Security

One of the keys of deciding when to retire is determining when you will reach your full retirement age. Full retirement age, also known as normal retirement age, is the age you must reach to start receiving full retirement benefits from Social Security. This age varies depending on when you were born. Because people are generally healthier and living longer, this age has gradually been increasing. For people born before 1938, the full retirement age is 65. People born between 1938 and 1960 are on a scale that ranges up to age 67.

Social Security has developed a Full Retirement Age Calculator that will give you detailed information on when your full retirement age is and what percentage of benefits you can expect as a record holder or as the spouse of a record holder. All thats required is for you to enter the year you were born.

To use the Full Retirement Age calculator, go to

Who Misses Out On Social Security Benefits And Why

Social Security and Your CalPERS Pension

    InvestopediaForbes AdvisorThe Motley Fool, CredibleInsider

        Does everyone get Social Security? No. Still, American workers who will not qualify for Social Security retirement benefits are relatively rare. If you are one of them, its important to know, so you can secure other sources of income or determine whether its possible for you to become eligible. What follows are the eight most common categories of workers who lack Social Security eligibility and thus are not entitled to benefits.

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        How To Appeal A Social Security Claim That Has Been Denied

        Almost half of all Social Security benefit applications are denied. While the vast majority of these deal with disability benefits, sometimes retirement benefits are denied as well.

        Some of the reasons why a retirement benefit application might be denied include:

        • You have not accumulated enough work credits in your work life
        • Your application has missing or incorrect information
        • You submitted your application too early. You cant apply until about four months before you turn 62.
        • You are already receiving Social Security disability benefits. Retirement and disability payments serve the same purpose to provide financial security when a person is not able to work any longer.
        • If you are a surviving spouse, you do not meet the minimum age requirement or you got remarried before you turned 60.

        If your benefit application is denied, you must submit an appeal within 60 days after you get a written notice from SSA. To start the appeal process, complete Form SSA-561-U2 Request for Reconsideration. Explain your reasons for seeking reconsideration and submit any additional documentation that will help you make your case to Social Security officials.

        The Request for Reconsideration is the first of four possible levels of appeal for Social Security retirement benefits. It is an informal review of your application and in many instances, when new information is submitted or issues are clarified, this level of appeal can lead to a reinstatement or approval of benefits.

        Fact #: Social Security Lifts Millions Of Elderly Americans Out Of Poverty

        Without Social Security benefits, about 4 in 10 Americans aged 65 and older would have incomes below the poverty line, all else being equal, according to official estimates based on the 2019 Current Population Survey. Social Security benefits lift more than 15 million elderly Americans out of poverty, these estimates show.

        An important study that matches Census estimates to administrative data suggests that the official estimates overstate elderly reliance on Social Security. That study finds that in 2012, 3 in 10 elderly Americans would be poor without Social Security, and that the program lifted more than 10 million elderly Americans out of poverty.

        No matter how it is measured, however, its clear that Social Security brings millions of elderly Americans out of poverty and dramatically reduces the elderly poverty rate.

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        Definition And Example Of Social Security

        Social Security is a federal benefits program that pays benefits to retirees and workers who are disabled, as well as their family members and survivors.

        • Alternate name: Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance Program
        • Acronym: OASDI

        For example, workers who have paid into Social Security for at least 10 years are generally eligible to receive Social Security retirement benefits when they turn 62 years old.

        Financial Benefits Of Working Longer

        Apply for Social Security Benefits â Retirement Benefit ...

        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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