If You’re Not Sure Why You Received A Payment
Contact the authorizing agency directly to find out why they sent the payment. You may be able to find the authorizing agency in the memo line of the check. View this diagram of a sample Treasury check to help you locate the authorizing agency contact information on your own check. Scroll about half way down the page to see the diagram.
If you’re unable to find which agency authorized the payment, . They can help you determine which government agency you need to contact. To find which RFC you need to call, look for its city and state at the top center of the check.
Use the Treasury Check Verification System to verify that the check is legitmate and issued by the government.
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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When Am I Eligible For Benefits
Under current Social Security regulations, a person must have reached the age of 62 to receive benefits for living expenses. However, a person can choose to apply earlier and wait until 62, or they can wait to apply until a later age and actually receive a higher yearly amount. The maximum age to start receiving benefits is at age 70. At age 70, you would receive the maximum benefit so waiting longer to apply would not increase the yearly income. This benefit is for life, and it is guaranteed by the U.S. government.
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How To Get A Social Security Card
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
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Get Help With Your Ssdi Or Ssi Claim From An Attorney
Remember that qualifying for disability income from the SSA depends in large part on presenting the proper evidence. A legal professional will be able to ensure a smooth process and few suprises. It may be a good idea to contact an experienced social security disability attorney to answer any questions, and to assist you throughout the benefits application process.
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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 a 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.
How To Qualify For Ssi Benefits
You can get Social Security disability benefits even if you do not have enough work credits to qualify for SSDI. The SSA offers the SSI program to disabled adults and children who have limited financial resources. As we mentioned before, if you do not have enough work credits to qualify for SSDI, you could qualify for SSI.
You have to meet the same medical disability standards as a person does for SSDI. Your income must be low, and your countable assets cannot exceed the limit for SSI. SSI is a safety net so that people who cannot work for a living but cannot collect SSDI can pay for essential items, like food, clothing, and shelter.
SSI has these requirements:
- You have a severe illness or injury that meets the benchmarks of the SSAs Listing of Impairments, also called the Blue Book.
- Your disability prevents you from supporting yourself through gainful employment.
- You must have very little income. This number can change every year. Because SSI is a joint program of the federal and state government, the income limit varies by location.
- Your countable assets must not exceed the SSI limit. This number can also change every year. Your home and the land it is on do not count as assets. Most cars do not count toward your resources. The asset limit is $2,000 for an individual and $3,000 for a couple.
You must satisfy all of these elements to be eligible for SSI benefits.
When Older People Are Eligible For Social Security
Today, older adults become eligible for full Social Security retirement benefits at age 66 or 67 depending on their birth year and whether they or their spouse have met the work credit requirement.
For anyone born in 1929 or later, the minimum work credit requirement for Social Security benefits is 40 credits or 10 years of work. The year you can start taking full Social Security benefits is known as your full retirement age or normal retirement age.
|Age for Receiving Full Social Security Benefits|
|1960 and later||67|
If you were born on January 1 of any year, refer to the previous year when calculating your full retirement age.
Unlike Medicare, older people can opt to start taking their benefits before their full retirement age. The earliest you can begin taking Social Security benefits is age 62. However, if you begin taking Social Security payments before your full retirement age, you will receive a reduced monthly benefit for the remainder of your life.
If you are a widow or widower, you can start claiming your spouses reduced Social Security benefits when you are age 60, or 50 if you are disabled. You can then switch to taking your own full benefit at your full retirement age.
You can also choose to delay your Social Security benefit past full retirement age until age 70. This will often make you eligible for delayed retirement credits, which increase your monthly benefit for the remainder of your life.
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Theres An Annual Social Security Cost
One of the most attractive features of Social Security benefits is that every year the government adjusts the benefit for inflation. Known as a cost-of-living adjustment, or COLA, this inflation protection can help you keep up with rising living expenses during retirement. The Social Security COLA is quite valuable its the equivalent of buying inflation protection on a private annuity, which can cost a pretty penny.
Because the COLA is calculated based on changes in a federal consumer price index, the size of the COLA depends largely on broad inflation levels determined by the government. In 2021, Social Security beneficiaries will see a 1.3% COLA in their monthly Social Security benefits.
The Kiplinger Letter forecast in March that the 2022 COLA would be 3%, which would be the largest increase since 2012 when Social Security benefits ticked up 3.6%.
Heres what COLAs have been in other recent years:
- 2009: 5.8%
- 2021: 1.3%
Can Early Retirement Affect My Social Security Benefits
Workers can start receiving full retirement age benefits at 66 years old if they were born between 1943 and 1954. For those born in 1955 and beyond, the full retirement age is 67. When a worker decides to receive their benefits earlier than the full retirement age, the total amount received is reduced. According to the United States Social Security Administration, a worker born in 1957 will receive a 27.5% reduction in total retirement income from Social Security when choosing to receive early retirement age benefits. Choosing to take early retirement will also affect the amount that a spouse will receive. In the same example, a workers spouse would also receive a 32.5% reduction in benefits. The actual percentage of early retirement age reduction will depend on several factors including the workers birth year and the date of the early retirement.
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Ssi Or Ssdi Beneficiaries: Are You Eligible For The Third Stimulus Check
If youre over age 65 and a recipient of Supplemental Security Income or Social Security Disability Insurance, you were eligible for a first and second stimulus check, and will be eligible for a third. This also includes many VA recipients and Retired Railroad Workers.
If you count as someone elses dependent, you may be eligible for stimulus money in the potential third round of checks.
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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.
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Do You Have Enough Work Credits
Your disability alone is not enough to qualify you for SSDI benefits. You must have earned enough work credits during the course of your employment to be eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits.
The work credits needed may vary from individual to individual, but they are basically as outlined below:
- If you are younger than 24 years of age, you may qualify for SSDI payments if you have earned 6 work credits in the 3-year period that ended when your disability began.
- If you are between the ages of 24 and 31, you may qualify if you have credit for working half the time between the age of 21 and the time you became disabled. For example, if you became disabled at age 25, you would need credit for 2 years of work between the ages of 21 and 25.
- If you are older than 31 years of age, you must have the number of work credits outlined in the chart shown below. As a general rule, you must have earned at least 20 of the credits during the 10 years immediately prior to your disability onset.
|If you were born after 1929 and became disabled at age:||Work Credits Needed:|
When Older People Are Eligible For Medicare
Older people can qualify for traditional Medicare coverage as early as age 65. You must also:
- Be a U.S. citizen or permanent legal resident
- Meet the work credit requirement
You might also be eligible for Medicare if you are under age 65 and meet one of the following conditions:
- You have a disability.
- You have End-Stage Renal Disease, a permanent kidney failure that requires dialysis or a transplant.
- You have been entitled to Social Security or Railroad Retirement Board disability benefits for 24 months.
- You have Lou Gehrig’s disease.
Once you qualify for Medicare, you are automatically enrolled in Medicare Part A. You can then choose to enroll in other parts of the program or to delay enrollment.
If you are over 65 and do not meet any of the above criteria, you still may be eligible to purchase coverage through Medicare Part A. If you are unsure whether you are eligible, you can check using the Medicare Eligibility & Premium Calculator.
The work credit requirement is an algorithm used to determine how long a worker paid into the system.
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Increasing The Eligibility Age For Social Security Pensions
Social Security faces a long-term financing problem. Many young workers believe the problem is so severe they may never receive a Social Security check. The most logical solution to Social Securitys financing problem is to trim promised benefits and increase payroll taxes moderately. A sensible way to reduce future benefits is to increase the early eligibility age and normal retirement age for retirement pensions. This reform is justified by the substantial increase in life spans that has occurred since Social Security was established in the 1930s. An increase in life spans, when the normal retirement age remains unchanged, is equivalent to a sizable increase in lifetime Social Security benefits.
Increasing the retirement age is unpopular with voters. Unfortunately, so are all other reforms that would restore Social Security to solvency, including tax hikes and cuts in the formula for calculating full pensions.
Let Us Help You With Your Social Security Disability Claim
Even if you clearly qualify for SSDI benefits, you shouldnt be surprised if your application for benefits is denied. Unfortunately, the SSA denies many legitimate claims. If you need help filling out your initial application for benefits or fighting for the benefits you deserve, our Roswell Social Security disability lawyers are here to help. Call our office today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.
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Who Is Eligible For Social Security Retirement Benefits
The U.S. Congress passed the 1935 Social Security Act as a way to supplement retirement earnings for primary working Americans. The original law also included the nations first unemployment insurance program as well as several health and welfare programs. Shortly thereafter, the law was changed to add survivor benefits for spouses and children, and in 1956 disability benefits were also added.
The Social Security Administration now serves 60 million Americans who will receive $870 billion in benefits in 2015.
The administration of such a large benefits program can be complicated at times, with numerous special instances, exceptions and nuances that can impact how benefits are disbursed to recipients.
This guide will introduce applicants to the basics of applying for Social Security retirement benefits and answer many of the common questions that arise when first considering to apply for benefits.
It will also address many special circumstances that can arise involving spouses and children, specific circumstances regarding timing, amounts, and maximizing benefits while also offering a comprehensive list of resources that may prove valuable throughout the Social Security retirement benefits process.
The Source Ofand Solution Tothe Problem
When the current Social Security formula was put in place in 1977, no provision was made for the contingency that economic conditions would be so dire that average wages would fall in any given year. This problem first surfaced in 2009 during the Great Recession. The AWI, however, fell by a relatively small amount, and policymakers chose not to do anything about it. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, however, the decline in the AWI is likely to be about four times as big now as it was during the Great Recession.
There is ample precedent for fixing this problem. The first precedent concerns Social Security cost-of-living allowances . As mentioned above, payments in years after beneficiaries first year of retirement are indexed to inflation using a version of the consumer price index . However, under the law, if prices fall in any year, benefits are not adjusted downward rather, they remain the same. The second precedent concerns the Social Security contribution and benefit base, also known as the taxable maximum. The taxable maximum is the dollar amount of annual earnings above which the Social Security payroll tax does not apply. The taxable maximum is indexed to the AWIbut like COLAs, it is never adjusted downward.
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