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How To Apply Social Security Retirement Benefits

Social Security Cola 202: When Will My Benefits Increase Begin

Applying Online for Social Security Retirement Benefits

This week, the Social Security Administration announced the biggest payment increase for the program in decades. Every year since 1975, the SSA has instituted a cost-of-living adjustment after analyzing rates of inflation to see how much to increase beneficiary amounts to help recipients keep up with the cost of goods.

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How Can I Increase My Retirement Benefits

There are multiple ways you can increase your retirement benefits. This article mentioned a few ways briefly. Below is a list of other ways you could increase your benefits payment.

Social Security benefits can be increased by:

  • Delaying your retirement
  • Apply for a survivors benefit
  • Avoid Social Security tax by staying under the taxable combined income rate
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    If You Don’t Have All Of The Documents

    Even if you don’t have everything, don’t delay applying for Social Security retirement benefits. You can provide the missing documents later. We may be able to help you get them.

    In many cases, your local Social Security office can contact your state Bureau of Vital Statistics and verify your information online at no cost to you or find other ways to get the information we need.

    If you delay signing up, you could lose some benefits you may be due.

    What Documents Do You Need To Apply For Retirement Benefits

    How to Apply Online For Social Security 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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    How Do You Apply For Ssa Retirement Benefits

    You can apply for Social Security benefits online via the SSA’s benefits application form. The SSA says that you should apply four months before you want your retirement benefits to start.

    You can also apply via phone by calling 800-772-1213. When Social Security Administration offices are open to the public, you can also get help with applying for benefits in your local office.

    When Might Social Security Retirement Hinder A Disability Benefit Application

    For any individual receiving Social Security Disability Insurance those benefits automatically become Social Security retirement benefits at age 65+. To be eligible for benefits from either of those programs, however, one must show a qualifying work history. That basically means someone has worked enough over the years to have sufficiently paid into the system.

    Whether an individual has a work record or not, however, they may still apply for Supplemental Security Income . SSI provides minimum financial assistance to older adults and disabled individuals who have very low income/resources. Qualification is entirely based on age/disability and income, not work history.

    This differentiation illustrates how an individual could feasibly qualify for both Social Security retirement and SSI with extremely limited income. But they cannot simultaneously qualify for Social Security retirement and SSDI, since the latter transitions into the former.

    So back to our readers question. We dont know which type of disability benefits this individual was seeking or if there was any accrued work history. As a result, that complicates the answer. But there are possibilities here.

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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.

    When Will I See The Increase In My Social Security Checks

    How to Apply for Social Security Benefits

    The COLA goes into effect with December benefits, which appear in checks received in January 2023. Social Security payments are made on Wednesdays, following a rollout schedule based on the beneficiary’s birth date. So if you were born from the 1st through the 10th of the month, your benefits are paid on the second Wednesday of the month.

    If your birthday falls between the 11th and 20th of the month, your checks are paid on the third Wednesday, and you’ll see your first COLA increase on your Jan. 18 check.

    Those born between the 21st and the end of the month receive benefits on the fourth Wednesday, which, in 2023, is Jan. 25.

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    Retirement And Spousal Benefits

    Youll need to provide an array of personal and work information, including:

    • Your date and place of birth.
    • Start and stop dates for jobs held in the past two years .
    • Military service, if applicable.
    • The routing number of the bank where you want Social Security to deposit your payment, and the number and type of your account.

    Social Security provides a complete checklist of what youll need for your application.

    When you can file: The minimum age to apply for both retirement and spouse benefits is 62, but monthly payments are higher if you wait longer.

    Where to file:Online, by phone or in person.

    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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    The Parts Of Medicare

    Social Security enrolls you in Original Medicare .

    • Medicare Part A helps pay for inpatient care in a hospital or limited time at a skilled nursing facility . Part A also pays for some home health care and hospice care.
    • Medicare Part B helps pay for services from doctors and other health care providers, outpatient care, home health care, durable medical equipment, and some preventive services.

    Other parts of Medicare are run by private insurance companies that follow rules set by Medicare.

    • Supplemental policies help pay Medicare out-of-pocket copayments, coinsurance, and deductible expenses.
    • Medicare Advantage Plan includes all benefits and services covered under Part A and Part B prescription drugs and additional benefits such as vision, hearing, and dental bundled together in one plan.
    • Medicare Part D helps cover the cost of prescription drugs.

    Most people age 65 or older are eligible for free Medicare hospital insurance if they have worked and paid Medicare taxes long enough. You can sign up for Medicare medical insurance by paying a monthly premium. Some beneficiaries with higher incomes will pay a higher monthly Part B premium. To learn more, read .

    What Else Affects Your Retirement Benefits

    When to Apply for Social Security Retirement Benefits

    Everyones retirement is unique. Beyond deciding when to begin receiving retirement benefits, other factors that can affect your benefits include whether you continue to work, what type of job you had, and if you have a pension from certain jobs.

    Continuing To Work

    You can choose to keep working beyond your full retirement age. If you do, you can increase your future Social Security benefits. Each extra year you work adds another year of earnings to your Social Security record. Higher lifetime earnings can mean higher benefits when you choose to receive benefits.

    Specific Types Of Earnings

    While Social Security earnings are calculated the same way for most American workers, there are some types of earnings that have additional rules.

    Earning types with special rules include:

    Pensions And Other Factors

    Pensions and taxes have the potential to impact your retirement benefit. Review the resources below on pensions and other factors you should consider:

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    How Much Will My Spouse Receive

    If your spouse qualifies for benefits on their own record, we will pay that amount first. If the benefit on your record is higher, they will get an additional amount on your record so that the combination of benefits equals that higher amount.

    If they begin receiving benefits:

    If your spouse will receive a pension for work not covered by Social Security such as government employment, the amount of their Social Security benefits on your record may be reduced.

    at any age

    Benefits paid to your spouse will not decrease your retirement benefit. In fact, the value of the benefits they may receive, added to your own, may help you decide if taking your benefits sooner may be more advantageous.

    Special Rules For People Who Are Blind Or Have Low Vision

    We consider you to be legally blind under Social Security rules if your vision cannot be corrected to better than 20/200 in your better eye. We will also consider you legally blind if your visual field is 20 degrees or less, even with a corrective lens. Many people who meet the legal definition of blindness still have some sight and may be able to read large print and get around without a cane or a guide dog.

    If you do not meet the legal definition of blindness, you may still qualify for disability benefits. This may be the case if your vision problems alone or combined with other health problems prevent you from working.

    There are several special rules for people who are blind that recognize the severe impact of blindness on a person’s ability to work. For example, the monthly earnings limit for people who are blind is generally higher than the limit that applies to non-blind workers with disabilities.

    In 2022, the monthly earnings limit is $2,260.

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    Already Enrolled In Medicare

    If you have Medicare, you can get information and services online. Find out how to .

    If you are enrolled in Medicare Part A and you want to sign up for Part B, please complete form CMS-40B, Application for Enrollment in Medicare Part B . If you are applying for Medicare Part B due to a loss of employment or group health coverage, you will also need to complete form CMS-L564, Request for Employment Information.

    You can use one of the following options to submit your enrollment request under the Special Enrollment Period:

  • Fax or mail your CMS-40B, CMS-L564, and secondary evidence to your local Social Security office .
  • Note: When completing the forms CMS-40B and CMS-L564:

    • State I want Part B coverage to begin in the remarks section of the CMS-40B form or online application.
    • If possible, your employer should complete Section B.
    • If your employer is unable to complete Section B, please complete that portion as best as you can on their behalf and submit one of the following forms of secondary evidence:
      • Income tax form that shows health insurance premiums paid.
      • W-2s reflecting pre-tax medical contributions.
      • Pay stubs that reflect health insurance premium deductions.
      • Health insurance cards with a policy effective date.
      • Explanations of benefits paid by the GHP or LGHP.
      • Statements or receipts that reflect payment of health insurance premiums.

    Some people with limited resources and income may also be able to get .

    You Can Receive Benefits Before Your Full Retirement Age

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

    You can start receiving your Social Security retirement benefits as early as age 62, but the benefit amount will be lower than your full retirement benefit amount.

    If you start receiving your benefits before your full retirement age, we will reduce your benefits based on the number of months you receive benefits before you reach your full retirement age.

    If you wait until age 70 to start your benefits, your benefit amount will be higher because you will receive delayed retirement credits for each month you delay filing for benefits. There is no additional benefit increase after you reach age 70, even if you continue to delay starting benefits.

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    Why Apply For Benefits Using The Online System

    Using the Social Security online application has a number of benefits:

    • You can avoid trips to your Social Security office, saving you time and money.
    • You can answer questions on your schedule. You dont have to complete the application the same day that you started it. You can start and stop the application without losing any of the information you entered.
    • You will have a chance to correct mistakes. You can go back and make changes until you finish the application. Youll also be given a chance to review your answers and go back and make corrections before you submit the application.
    • If you have trouble answering a question, you can find additional information in their links.
    • You dont need to mail your application. When youre finished, just click Submit Now to send your application to Social Security.
    • Youll get a receipt for your online application. You can print the receipt and keep for your records.
    • You can check the status of your online application. Your receipt includes a confirmation number you can use to check the status of your application.

    However, if you choose to apply for benefits more than two months in the future, you will not be able to check the status of your application until one month before you start receiving benefits.

    If You Are The Survivor

    Just as you plan for your family’s protection if you die, you should consider the Social Security benefits that may be available if you are the survivor that is, the spouse, child, or parent of a worker who dies. That person must have worked long enough under Social Security to qualify for benefits.

    How Your Spouse Earns Social Security Survivors Benefits

    A worker can earn up to four credits each year. In 2022, for example, your spouse can earn one credit for each $1,510 of wages or self-employment income. When your spouse has earned $6,040 they have earned their four credits for the year.

    The number of credits needed to provide benefits for survivors depends on the worker’s age when they die. No one needs more than 40 credits to be eligible for any Social Security benefit. But, the younger a person is, the fewer credits they must have for family members to receive survivors benefits.

    Some survivors can get benefits if the worker has credit for one and one-half years of work in the three years just before their death. Each persons situation is different and you need to talk to one of our claims representatives about your choices.

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