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Apply For Social Security Retirement Benefits

A You Can Continue Working And Start Receiving Your Retirement Benefits

Applying Online for Social Security Retirement Benefits

If you start your benefits before your full retirement age, your benefits are reduced a fraction of a percent for each month before your full retirement age.

You can get Social Security retirement benefits and work at the same time before your full retirement age. However your benefits will be reduced if you earn more than the yearly earnings limits.

After you reach your full retirement age, we will recalculate your benefit amount to give you credit for any months you did not receive a benefit because of your earnings. We will send you a letter that explains any increase in your benefit amount.

If you delay filing for your benefits until after full retirement age, you will be eligible for delayed retirement credits that would increase your monthly benefit. If you also continue to work, you will be able to receive your full retirement benefits and any increase resulting from your additional earnings when we recalculate your benefits. Once you reach full retirement age, your earnings do not affect your benefit amount.

If you start receiving retirement benefits before age 65, you are automatically enrolled in Original Medicare when you turn 65. If you or your spouse are still working and covered under an employer-provided group health plan, talk to the personnel office before signing up for Medicare Part B. To learn more, read our Medicare publication.

Required Information About Your Present And Past Employment

In addition to providing a wide range of information about yourself, you will also need to know numerous things about your employment history for your retirement benefits application. When applying, you will need to disclose who you worked for over the last two years and where those businesses are located. The amount of money that you earned over the last two years will also be required.

Other information regarding employment that is required to apply for benefits includes either a record of your earnings or a copy of your Social Security Statement. Individuals who dont have a copy of the statement can get one online by creating an account with the SSA. Other factors that will need to be disclosed on the application include:

  • The dates you started and ended U.S. military service before 1968 if applicable
  • Whether you or your spouse have even been employed with the railroad industry
  • Whether youve been unable to work at any point in the last 14 months due to injuries, illnesses, or conditions and what dates work was not possible
  • Whether you have received any Social Security credits in another country under its system
  • Whether you expect to get or qualify for an annuity or pension from your employment under the Federal government or a state or local subdivision

Direct Deposit: Its The Law

Effective March 2013, a new law went into effect requiring that all Social Security benefits be paid electronically. This means benefits due to you are directly deposited into a bank account of your choosing. The change means a quicker delivery of benefits as well as being safer and more convenient for customers.

The U.S. Treasury administers the Direct Deposit program and can answer questions for customers who call their helpline at 1-800-333-1795. For information and to sign up for the electronic delivery of funds, go to the Go Direct website at

The Treasury will also grant waivers in rare instances. To request a waiver or for more information, call 1-855-290-1545.

How to contact the Social Security Administration

Website: www.socialsecurity.gov

Phone: 1-800-772-1213

TTY number: 1-800-325-0778

E-mail: Fill out a contact form located at

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When To Start Receiving Retirement Benefits

A secure comfortable retirement is every worker’s dream. And now because we are living longer healthier lives, we can expect to spend even more time in retirement than our parents and grandparents did. Hi, I am Mike Baksa of the Social Security Administration. As a Social Security representative, I am often asked what is the best age to start receiving retirement benefits? The answer is there really is no one best age for everyone. You can start your Social Security retirement benefits as early as age 62 or as late as age 70. Your monthly benefit amount will be different depending on the age you start receiving it.

If you begin receiving benefits before your full retirement age, you will receive a reduced benefit. You can choose to retire as early as age 62, but doing so will result in lower benefits. On the other hand, starting your benefits after full retirement age may result in larger benefits. With delayed retirement credits you can receive your largest benefit by beginning to receive benefit payments at age 70. If you were born between 1943 and 1954 and are now considering retirement, the reduction for early retirement at age 62 is 25 percent. Then again, delaying benefits until age 70 results in an increase of 32 percent. The increase in full retirement age was the result of the 1983 amendments to the Social Security act by Congress.

How To Decide When To Claim Social Security

Social Security Retirement Application Form

Key Takeaways

  • You can collect Social Security as early as age 62, but your benefits will be permanently reduced. …
  • The longer you can afford to wait after age 62 , the larger the monthly benefit. …
  • Doing a breakeven analysis can help you determine when you would come out ahead by delaying benefits.

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Make Sure You Qualify

To qualify for your Canada Pension Plan retirement pension, you must:

  • be at least 60 years old
  • have made at least one valid contribution to the CPP

Valid contributions can be either from work you did in Canada, or as the result of receiving credits from a former spouse or former common-law partner at the end of the relationship.

Is It Better To Retire Early Or Go On Disability

If you are approaching early retirement age and also have become disabled, you may be unsure whether you should take an early retirement or apply for disability until you reach full retirement age.

On the one hand, if you already know you have enough work credits to retire, the processing of starting your retirement benefits will be a lot easier than going through the laborious process of applying for disability.

On the other hand, you may not want to sacrifice the extra monthly benefits you could get if you waited until full retirement or age 70 to begin collecting benefits. If youre not too concerned about your financial stability, opting for early retirement might not seem like a big deal, especially if you have a pension through your employer or other types of retirement accounts like an IRA or 401K.

However, if youre like many Americans, you may need all the help you can get from the Social Security Administration. In this case, its most likely better to get approved for disability benefits rather than take an early retirement and lose out on your hard-earned benefits. While it can be true that getting approved for SSDI can take time, effort, and patience, disability benefits can offer you a kind of flexibility that retirement cantespecially if theres a chance of your disability improving.

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When To Get Started With Your Application

Keep in mind that even if you are working on getting all the documents you need for your application, you can still begin the application process. The timing of the application can have an impact on how much you receive in benefits. For example, waiting until the full retirement age to apply will allow you to receive full benefits. Filing before this age can lead to a decrease in your monthly payment amount.

If your full retirement age is 67, but you choose to receive benefits starting at 62, you could receive up to 30% less in monthly payments. Those who wait will receive larger payments and that amount will grow until you reach the age of 70.

However, remember that starting the process to get retirement benefits doesnt mean they will come immediately. Its recommended that you apply for benefits no later than two months before you want to start getting payments. All SSA retirement benefits are set up to be paid for the month prior. So, someone who applies in March might start getting benefits in April but wont be paid the amount until May.

Should I Wait Until Full Retirement Age To Apply For Social Security

How To Apply For Social Security Benefits: What You Need To Know

Receiving Social Security at age 62 means that you will receive a reduced payment compared with waiting for full retirement age. For those born in 1960 or later, the reduction is 30%, and all reductions are permanent. If you delay taking your benefits past full retirement age, then you receive an 8% increase for each full year that you do so, up until you reach 70, at which point the increases stop.

Every individual can calculate their own full retirement age based on their specific birthday, to consider locking in the maximum amount of Social Security benefits.

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How Much Can I Earn And Still Get Benefits

When you begin receiving Social Security retirement benefits, you are considered retired for our purposes. You can get Social Security retirement or survivors benefits and work at the same time. However, there is a limit to how much you can earn and still receive full benefits.

If you are younger than full retirement age and earn more than the yearly earnings limit, we may reduce your benefit amount.

If you are under full retirement age for the entire year, we deduct $1 from your benefit payments for every $2 you earn above the annual limit. For 2022, that limit is $19,560.

In the year you reach full retirement age, we deduct $1 in benefits for every $3 you earn above a different limit. In 2022, this limit on your earnings is $51,960. We only count your earnings up to the month before you reach your full retirement age, not your earnings for the entire year.

If your earnings will be over the limit for the year and you will receive retirement benefits for part of the year, we have a special rule that applies to earnings for one year. The special rule lets us pay a full Social Security benefit for any whole month we consider you retired, regardless of your yearly earnings.

Read our publication, How Work Affects Your Benefits, for more information.

When you reach full retirement age:

What Documents Do You Need To Apply For Retirement Benefits

We request different documents depending on your circumstances. You can help by being ready to provide the information and documents listed below. You can also use our Checklist For The Online Medicare, Retirement, And Spouses Application to help you gather the information you need to apply.

Documents we may ask for include:

  • Your Social Security card or a record of your number.
  • Your original birth certificate, a copy certified by the issuing agency, or other proof of your age.We must see the original document, or copies certified by the agency that issued them. We cannot accept photocopies or notarized copies.
  • If you were not born in the U.S., proof of U.S. citizenship or lawful alien status. We must see the original document, or copies certified by the agency that issued them. We cannot accept documents if they have expired. We cannot accept photocopies or notarized copies.
  • A copy of your U.S. military service paper if you served before 1968. A photocopy is acceptable.
  • A copy of your W-2 form and/or self-employment tax return for last year. A photocopy is acceptable.

We will return all documents and photocopies unless specifically told otherwise.

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Can I Receive Social Security Disability And Retirement Benefits

In most cases, you cannot receive Social Security disability and retirement benefits at the same time, since SSDI benefits are meant for those who cannot work due to injury or illness. If youre receiving retirement benefits, it is already implicit that you are no longer working. There is one exception to this rule, however.

If you take an early retirement at age 62 before applying for disability benefits, and are later found to have been eligible for disability during that time, the Social Security Administration will make up the difference between your early retirement benefits and your monthly disability benefits for those months that you received early retirement payments. Of course, youll have to submit adequate documentation that you took an early retirement because of your disabling condition.

Its also worth noting that some individuals can draw monthly benefits from more than one Social Security program. For example, you may be able to qualify for both SSI and SSDI or retirement and SSI.

Your Options: Working Applying For Retirement Benefits Or Both

How to Apply for Social Security: A Step

Choosing when to start receiving your Social Security retirement benefits is an important decision. Theres no one choice that works for everyone because your lifestyle, finances, and goals are not the same as others.

Do you want to retire early, stay on the job, or work beyond retirement age?

Should you start receiving retirement benefits now, or wait until you can receive a higher benefit amount?

These are important questions youll need to answer as you plan for your retirement. Consider the four options below to help you make the best decision.

Continue Working

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How To Withdraw Your Application

  • Fill out Social Security Form SSA-521. Include the reason why you want to withdraw the application on the form. If you already have Medicare, your request must also clearly state whether your Medicare coverage should or should not be included in the withdrawal.
  • Send the completed form to your local Social Security office. We will notify you when there is a decision about your request and let you know the amount of benefits you need to repay.
  • You have 60 days to cancel an approved withdrawal. After that, you will lose any possible entitlement for the period covered by your original application.

    Spouses Who Dont Qualify For Their Own Social Security

    Spouses who didnt work at a paid job or didnt earn enough credits to qualify for Social Security on their own are eligible to receive benefits starting at age 62 based on their spouses record. As with claiming benefits on your own record, your spousal benefit will be reduced if you take it before reaching your FRA. The highest spousal benefit that you can receive is half of the benefit that your spouse is entitled to at their FRA.

    While spouses get a lower benefit if they claim before reaching their own FRA, they will not get a larger spousal benefit by waiting to claim after their FRAsay, at age 70. However, a nonworking or lower-earning spouse may get a larger spousal benefit if the working spouse has some late-career, high-earning years that boost their benefits.

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    Documentation Of Military Service

    If you were a part of the military before 1968, the Social Security benefits application will ask for a copy of your military service papers. These could include your certification of discharge or release from active duty. While applying for benefits, you will likely need to send a few documents from above to the SSA. Keep in mind that all of these documents, whether photocopies or original records, will be returned to you.

    Try This Life Expectancy Calculator For Social Security

    ð´Can I Apply For Social Security Retirement Benefits In Advance of Age 62

    Retirement benefit calculations are based on extensive actuarial studies and data. As a service to the public, the Social Security Administration has developed a simple Life Expectancy Calculator that allows you to plug in your gender and date of birth to get a rough estimate of how long you may live.

    Knowing this information may help you in deciding when the right time is to apply for retirement benefits.

    To use the Calculator, go to

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    D You Can Stop Working And Not Begin Receiving Your Retirement Benefits

    We calculate your benefits based on your highest 35 years of earnings. If you stop working before you have 35 years of earnings, or you have low earnings for some years, this will affect your benefit calculation. However, if you wait to start benefits after you reach 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.

    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.

    How Do You Apply

    You can apply online by using our Social Security Retirement/Medicare Benefit Application to apply for retirement, spouse’s, divorced spouse’s or Medicare benefits.

    If you and your spouse apply online for retirement benefits at the same time, or if your spouse applies online after you start receiving benefits, we will check their eligibility for benefits as a spouse. If they are qualified, the online application will automatically include a request for spousal benefits on your record.

    If your spouse applies for benefits, they need to be ready to supply the information we need to approve their application for these benefits:

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