At what age can I apply for social security retirement benefits?
You can apply for Social Security retirement benefits when you are 61 and nine
months. However, you will not be entitled to receive reduced retirement benefits
until you reach full retirement age. The full retirement age is 66 for people born in
1943-1954 and will gradually increase to 67 for people born in 1960 or later. If your
full retirement age is 67 and you start receiving retirement benefits at age 62, your
monthly benefit amount will be reduced by approximately 30%.
When are my benefits paid?
Social Security benefits are paid monthly, in the month following the month for
which they are due. For example, you would receive your February benefit in March.
The day of the month in which you receive your benefit payment typically depends
on the birth date of the person on whose earnings record you receive benefits.
If you receive both Social Security and SSI benefits, you will receive your Social
Security payment on the third day of the month and your SSI payment will arrive on
the first day of the month.
How are my benefits paid?
You can receive your benefits by mail or have them directly deposited into your
bank account via electronic payments.
Do I have to pay taxes on my Social Security Benefits?
You may 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,
you may have to pay taxes if you and your spouse have a total combined income that
is more than $32,000.
What happens when a beneficiary dies?
Benefits are not payable for the month of death. For example, if the person died any
time in February the check received in March (which is payment for February) must
be returned. It is important to inform the Social Security Administration if a person
receiving Social Security benefits dies.
Can I work and still collect Social Security benefits?
You can continue to work and still get Social Security retirement benefits. Your
earnings in, and after, the month you reach your full retirement age will not affect
your Social Security benefits. However, if your earnings exceed certain limits for the
months before you reach full retirement age, then your benefits will be reduced.
What benefits can my spouse qualify for if he/she has limited work history?
Even if you have never worked under Social Security, you may be able to get
spouse’s retirement benefits if you are at least 62 years of age and your spouse
or ex-spouse is receiving or eligible for retirement or disability benefit. If you are
under full retirement age and qualify on your own record, Social Security will pay
you that amount first. However, if you also qualify for a higher amount as a spouse,
you may get a combination of benefits that equals that higher amount.
At what age does a child stop getting social security benefits?
A child’s benefits stop with the month before the child reaches age 18, unless
the child is either disabled or is a full-time elementary or secondary school
student. About five months before the child’s 18th birthday, the Social Security
Administration will send the person receiving the child’s benefits information
explaining how benefits can continue.
What is the difference between Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI)?
SSDI is a federal insurance program designed to provide income supplements
to people who are physically restricted in their ability to be employed. It can be
supplied either on a temporary or permanent basis, depending on whether the
disability is temporary or permanent. SSDI does not depend on the income of the
disabled individual receiving it.
SSI is a government program that provides stipends to low income people who are
either aged, blind or disabled. In order to be eligible an individual must be 65 years
old or older, blind, or disabled, must be considered a legal U.S. resident, and must
have income and resources with certain limitations.
What do I do if I disagree with a decision the Social Security Administration
If you disagree with a decision, you have the right to ask the SSA for it to be
reconsidered. You must file a written request with any Social Security office within
60 days of the date you receive the decision you are questioning. There are four
levels of appeal. If you are not satisfied with the decision at one level, you may
appeal to the next. The levels are:
• Appeals Council review; and
• Federal court
How do I qualify for benefits as a divorced spouse?
You can receive benefits as a divorced spouse on a former spouse’s Social Security
record if you:
• Were married to your former spouse for at least 10 years;
• Are at least age 62 years old;
• Are unmarried; and
• Are not entitled to a higher Social Security benefit on his or her own record.
Your former spouse must be entitled to receive his/her own retirement or disability
benefit. If your former spouse is eligible for a benefit, but has not yet applied for
it, you can still receive a benefit if you meet the above eligibility and have been
divorced from your former spouse for at least two years.
What if I want to retire but my spouse does not?
If you have been married to your spouse at least 10 years then you are entitled to
Social Security benefits on your husband or wife’s work record. If you want to stop
working and you are at full retirement age or are caring for a child who is under
16 years old, you are entitled to an amount equal to one-half of your spouse’s full
In order to receive the spousal benefit, your spouse must file for Social Security
retirement benefits. Your spouse can continue to work as long as he or she files for
benefits and then immediately suspends them. Once your spouse suspends his or
her benefits, you can receive spousal benefits while your spouse continues to work.