For workers and former workers in the United States, Social Security is a fundamental part of their lives. People with disabilities also have a lot to say about this Administration, since benefits are available to them. But there are many people who have questions about particular elements of SSA. The truth is that the Social Security Administration controls so much data that it is normal for some people to be a little lost.
Fortunately, all these questions have answers, so let’s take a look at some frequently asked questions that will help us to have as much information as possible. If you have any doubt related to Social Security, it is very likely that you will find the answer you need here. Besides that, you may find yourself with doubts that you didn’t know you had and whose answer can be very useful for you.
Frequently Asked Questions about Social Security
Among these questions you will find a lot of information about Social Security benefits. Take note if you want to eliminate once and for all your doubts about these payments:
Can only retirees collect Social Security?
No, not only retirees. A large part of Social Security beneficiaries are retirees, yes, but not all of them are. Another part are spouses, former spouses, widows and widowers. In addition to this, there are also people with disabilities to consider, who may also be eligible for SSA benefits.
When can I start receiving the benefit?
The minimum age to apply for the retirement benefit is 62. This is for former workers. If it is the disability benefit, it can be at any age. It is not mandatory to apply for retirement at age 62, as you can wait until age 67. It is also possible to wait until age 70 to apply for Social Security, which increases the amount in monthly payments. Beyond age 70 there are no extra benefits.
How do I apply for Social Security?
You can apply in three different ways:
- By phone, by calling 800-772-1213.
- Online, through My Social Security.
- At a local office. It is recommended that you make an appointment to be seen in the shortest time possible.
How many years do I need to work to get Social Security?
You will need a minimum number of credits to apply for Social Security. That minimum amount of credits is 40. To get those 40 credits you will need to work for at least 10 years. The biggest problem is that if you only work those years your final benefit will not be very large, although you will have a benefit.
Is it mandatory to stop working in order to receive a pension?
No, it is not mandatory. You can continue working and collecting your pension at the same time, although with certain limits. If you earn more than the Social Security limit for the year, you will see a reduction in your retirement benefit of $1 for every $2 over the limit. Sometimes it pays off, but there are times when it’s better to quit your job and claim only your retirement benefit.
What will my Social Security benefit be?
There is no exact answer here until you apply. You can make a rough estimate with the Social Security calculator. The three factors that most influence this final figure are 35 years of higher salary, having a high salary, and retirement age. If you apply for retirement at age 62, you will receive about 30% less than if you apply at age 67. Also, waiting until age 70 will increase your retirement benefit considerably.
How can I increase the amount of my benefit?
This question is easy to answer and is linked to the previous question. Working at least 35 years is key. Each year not worked adds $0 to the average, which makes the Social Security benefit go way down. In addition to this, waiting until age 67 to apply for Full Retirement Age is also key to greatly increase the benefit.