What Are Social Security Credits And How Are They Earned
Social Security credits determine eligibility and benefit amounts in retirement. In 2022, earning $1,510 in income qualifies as earning one Social Security work credit.2 You are eligible to earn up to four credits per year. Most people need 40 credits to qualify for Social Security benefits though younger individuals require fewer credits for disability benefits or for their family members to receive survivors benefits.
How Do My Social Security Benefits Change If I Retire Early Or Late
As life changes and priorities shift, you may wish to retire before or after your full retirement age. Your Ameriprise advisor can help you determine the best choice for you. Retiring early locks you into lower monthly payments and will decrease your lifetime benefit amount. Retiring later increases your monthly payment and the amount you will receive over your lifetime.
Set Up A Phone Appointment
In contrast, a phone appointment might be the best balance of convenience and directly talking with a representative, and you dont have to be computer savvy either. You can call your local office or 1-800-772-1213 to reach the national line Monday through Friday between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Eastern Time.
Vredeveld says that his firms clients have had really good experiences when they pre-schedule an appointment, though it may not be possible to schedule an appointment earlier than one or two months out. So, plan accordingly.
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How Do I Apply For Social Security Disability Benefits
Because of the large volume of applications, it can take a long period of time to receive a decision. You can start the process by filling out an application online. If you do not want to apply online, you may contact the SSA at 1-800-772-1213 . You can also call or visit your local Social Security office.
What If I Live Abroad
Most U.S. citizens who live in foreign countries after they retire can qualify for Social Security benefits. However, the U.S. government will not send Social Security payments to those living in Cuba or North Korea. Additionally, Americans living in Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan must qualify for an exception in order to receive benefits while living abroad.
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Social Security Disability Insurance
For SSDI, the document requirements are considerably broader and the application is lengthier. Along with the usual personal data , youll need to provide extensive documentation of your medical history and treatment and file an Adult Disability Report.
The SSDI process also includes an interview, in person or by phone. Youll find detailed information in Social Securitys Adult Disability Starter Kit.
Where to file:Online, by phone or in person.
How Does The Ssa Define Disabled
To qualify for SSDI, its not enough to be considered disabled under your definition or even your doctors definition. To qualify for SSDI, you must meet the SSAs definition of disabled.
The SSA considers you disabled if:
- You cant perform the work you performed prior to your medical condition,
- Youre unable to engage in substantial gainful activity because of your medical condition, and
- Your disability has lasted or is expected to last for at least 1 year or result in death.
There are certain medical conditions recognized by the SSA that are considered automatically disabling.
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Some Publications That Will Give You More Information On Disability Benefits
The Disability Starter Kit will help you get ready for your disability interview or online application. Kits are available for adults and for children under age 18.
The starter kits provide information about the specific documents and the information that we will request from you.
The kits also provide general information about the disability programs and our decision-making process.
Here are some additional resources with information on disability benefits:
- Disability Evaluation Under Social Security – Medical criteria for evaluating Social Security disability claims
Calculate The Best Time To Start Social Security
If you are confused about when to start, you can use the Social Security Explorer part of the NewRetirement Retirement Planner to compare your monthly income and maximum lifetime payout at different ages.
Or, you might consider the following rules of thumb:
- Take Early: The only people who should consider taking their Social Security early are those who absolutely need the money immediately, or those who do not expect to live for very long, due to illness
- Take at Full Retirement Age: Should you have reason to believe that you will not live past the age of 80, then generally speaking you will maximize your social security benefits if you take them when you reach your Full Retirement Age.
- Wait as Long as Possible: On the other hand, if you are confident that you will live past the age of 80 or 85, then most experts recommend that you defer your social security for as long as you can , so as to maximize the benefits you receive from it.
- Other: If you have dependent children, the additional benefits you receive for them might make filing when you are younger worthwhile.
It can also be a very good idea to have an overall retirement plan before you decide when to start your Social Security benefits. The NewRetirement Retirement Planner can help you assess all of your sources of retirement income and whether or not you will have enough to cover your expenses. This tool was recently named a best retirement calculator by the American Association of Individual Investors .
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Three Ways To Apply For Social Security
If youre approaching retirement and youre thinking about how to start your Social Security benefits, you have three options for how to apply:
- Go to your local Social Security office.
- Open an account and apply online .
Each approach offers some benefits and drawbacks, so consider which works best for you.
How Do I File For Social Security Disability Benefits
There are 3 ways to apply for Social Security disability benefits in Tennessee:
Regardless of which option you choose, youll need to have the following information handy:
- All medical records in your possession
- Workers compensation information
- Names and dates of your minor children and your spouse
- Checking or saving account numbers
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When Should You Retire
To draw full retirement benefits, the following Social Security Administration age rules apply:
Born in 1937 or earlier – Full retirement can be drawn at age 65Born in 1938 – Full retirement can be drawn at age 65 years and 2 monthsBorn in 1939 — Full retirement can be drawn at age 65 years and 4 monthsBorn in 1940 — Full retirement can be drawn at age 65 years and 6 monthsBorn in 1941 — Full retirement can be drawn at age 65 years and 8 monthsBorn in 1942 — Full retirement can be drawn at age 65 years and 10 monthsBorn in 1943-1954 — Full retirement can be drawn at age 66Born in 1955 – Full retirement can be drawn at age 66 and 2 monthsBorn in 1956 — Full retirement can be drawn at age 66 and 4 monthsBorn in 1957 — Full retirement can be drawn at age 66 and 6 monthsBorn in 1958 — Full retirement can be drawn at age 66 and 8 monthsBorn in 1959 — Full retirement can be drawn at age 66 and 10 monthsBorn in 1960 or later — Full retirement can be drawn at age 67
Remember that while you can begin drawing Social Security retirement benefits at age 62, your benefits will be 25 percent less than what they will be if you wait until your full retirement age as shown above. Also keep in mind that no matter when you start drawing Social Security benefits, you must be 65 to be eligible for Medicare.
For example, people who waited until age 70 to retire in 2017 could get a maximum benefit of $3,538.
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:
- Direct Express debit card – a pre-paid debit card. Get help by calling the Go Direct Helpline at .
Make Changes to an Existing Direct Deposit Account:
On Go Direct’s FAQ page, 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.
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What Can I Do If My Application For Disability Is Denied
If your application is denied, you may appeal the decision. If you still disagree with the decision on the Request for Reconsideration, you will file an appeal which will go to the local Office of Disability Adjudication and Review, for a review by an Administrative Law Judge, and may take up to one year. If denied again and appealed, the third appeal will go to the Appeals Council and could take more than one year to be decided. If you receive disability benefits, the benefits won’t begin until the sixth full month after the date the Social Security Administration decides the disability began. In addition, you must wait two years before you qualify for Medicare coverage.
You can file an appeal or read more about Social Security’s definition of a “disability” online at the SSA’s Internet Appeals page.
Lost Or Stolen Federal Payments
Report your lost, missing, or stolen federal check to the agency that issued the payment. It’s usually one of these paying agencies. If your documentation indicates it’s a different agency, and you need its contact information, look in the A-Z Index of U.S. Government Departments and Agencies.
To get an update on your claim, contact the Treasury Department Philadelphia Financial Center at 1-855-868-0151, option 1.
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Documents You Need When Applying For Social Security
When its time to apply for your Social Security benefits, youll need to have the following documents in hand:
- Your Social Security card
- Your original birth certificate, or a certified copy
- Proof of U.S. citizenship or lawful alien status
- Military service papers, if applicable
- Your W-2 form from the last year
If you cant access any of these documents for one reason or another, dont hold off on applying. Your local Social Security office can help you obtain certified copies or equivalent information, or you can submit them later on in the process. Delaying signing up for benefits could result in you losing benefits.
Note that the SSA can accept photocopies of some of these documents, such as your W-2 and tax returns. However, youll need to submit the original of other forms, such as your birth certificate.
Find Out Which Disability Program You Qualify For And How To Apply
If you suffer a debilitating injury in Tennessee, there are 2 programs administered by the United States Social Security Administration that may provide you with benefits: Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income .
In this article, well take a close look at both programs, and explain how they differ from and interact with workers compensation insurance.
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Other Information Your Social Security Application May Ask For
If youre married, youll also need to provide your spouses name, Social Security number , date of birth and age. Youll also need to have the date and place of marriage, and this goes for any former spouses as well. For logistical purposes, youll want to indicate what month you want your benefits to begin, and youll need to provide your banks routing number and your account number.
As part of your application, you can also indicate if you would like to enroll in Medicare Part B, but youll have to be eligible.
You should also note in your application if:
- You have any unmarried children under the age of 18 or disabled children under the age of 22.
- Youve ever filed for Social Security benefits, Medicare or Supplemental Security Income on your behalf
- Youve ever used a different SSN
What Is Regular Social Security
Social Security benefits, also known as the Old Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance , is a safety net program that provides benefits to retired workers, their spouses, children, and people with disabilities. The amount of benefits a person receives is based on their earnings history and the age at which they start collecting benefits.
Social Security benefits are funded with payroll taxes under FICA and SECA. These funds are deposited into the Social Security Trust Fund, from where Social Security benefits are paid to retirees, disabled workers, and dependents of eligible workers. Surplus funds are invested in interest-bearing federal debt instruments.
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How To Apply For Spousal Social Security Benefits
This article was written by Jennifer Mueller, JD. Jennifer Mueller is an in-house legal expert at wikiHow. Jennifer reviews, fact-checks, and evaluates wikiHow’s legal content to ensure thoroughness and accuracy. She received her JD from Indiana University Maurer School of Law in 2006.There are 10 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 39,437 times.
If you are married or divorced and nearing retirement age, you may be eligible for spousal Social Security benefits. Spousal benefits allow you to get up to 50 percent of the total benefits your spouse is eligible for without taking away from their benefits. If you’re eligible for your own retirement benefits, you’ll get those first. However, if your spouse was in the workforce longer than you or made more money, spousal benefits could add to the overall benefits you receive. You apply for spousal Social Security benefits the same way you claim your own retirement benefits.XResearch source
Applying For Regular Social Security Vs Ssi
If you are eligible to receive SSI based on age or disability, you may also qualify to receive Social Security benefits. Therefore, when you apply for SSI benefits, you will be automatically applying for Social Security benefits. For example, if you apply for SSI based on your disability, you may also be eligible for Social Security Disability insurance.
You can apply for either or both benefits through your My Social Security account, by calling Social Security at 1-800-772-1213, sending your filed application to the Social Security address, or visiting the local Social Security office.
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How Do I Apply For Disability Benefits
If you need to apply for disability benefits, then completing an application online is the quickest and easiest way to do it. This will allow you to get an initial determination of your eligibility faster. You can also apply over the phone or in-person at your local office. Remember that you will need to call and schedule an appointment as no walk-ins are currently being accepted. If your benefits are denied, you can also file an appeal online. Many people choose to hire an attorney during the appeals process, so you might choose to go that route as well.
Can I Appeal If My Application Has Been Denied
Once you receive your decision, you have 60 days to appeal.
Heres what an appeal looks like:
If you believe youre entitled to workers compensation benefits or Social Security benefits, schedule a free consultation with a Tennessee attorney near you.
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Work Information Youll Need When Applying For Social Security
What you do for a living may have an impact on your benefits, so youll need to supply the SSA with some employment information as well. This includes the name and address of your employer for both this year and last year.
Youll also need to know how much money you earned this year, last year and potentially next year. Youll need an estimate of next years income if youre applying in September, October, November or December.
Similar to the above section, you should also indicate on your application if any of these conditions apply to you:
- Youve been unable to work because of injury, illness or another condition at any point within the past 14 months.
- Youve qualified for a pension or an annuity from a federal or state government employer.
- You or your spouse have ever worked for the railroad industry in any capacity
- Youve earned any Social Security credit under the social security system of another country