by Dan Sullivan
With over 64 million beneficiaries all over America, Social Security is a great help to those who are incapable of earning or earn an inadequate amount. It is estimated that Social Security has pulled around 22 million citizens out of poverty. And it has resulted in four-time reduced elderly poverty . Though Social Security is not the sole source of living for the US senior citizens, yet it proves to be reasonable financial assistance. If you are willing to take advantage of the service owing to your benefits, let's tell you how to get them.
Social Security is a service by the government of the United States (and some other countries) that ensures a good lifestyle for every citizen. The lifestyle symmetry is obtained by providing an amount of money to the retired or disabled for their necessities. This way, the government plays its part in creating financial stability and harmony among its citizens.
In 1935, Social Security started as financial aid to the elderly or retired, but now it serves more people, making their lives easier! Social Security Benefits include four programs for different needs
Social Security has been providing retirement benefits to people for decades now. People who are above 62 years old and have served for at least ten years are eligible for Social Security Retirement Benefits. These are usually dependent on your income before retirement, and the age you start receiving retirement benefits.
Disability benefits are for those who are not able to work because of any disability. They depend on your age and your payout before the limitation.
This Social Security benefit is a monetary help for the widow/widower or the family of the deceased. Survivor's benefit can be received monthly by any eligible member of the family. Otherwise, you can get it one time as a total amount of $255 paid to the family of the deceased.
Supplemental Security Income can be considered an extra income from the government that you can avail with the retirement or disability benefits.
Applying for Social Security Benefits is very simple. You can walk into their office, register yourself online, or call at 1-800-722-1213 .
The SSA caters to people with special needs by a special number 1-800-325-0778 for those who cannot hear or have trouble hearing.
Though there is a certain limit of receiving social security benefits every year. Yet if you think that you are not getting the maximum, magnify your social security benefits by keeping a few things in mind.
Earning maximum means making the most of your youth and start making money as soon as you can. When you start earning at the right age, it gives you the privilege of having a higher Retirement Benefit. If you are wondering how let us explain it to you. When the SSA is evaluating your stats to decide your social security benefit, it considers the money you have made in your life. Out of the years of working, they target the highest-earning and give you social security benefits accordingly. Making some extra money through a side gig can add to your chances of receiving a higher retirement benefit.
Working for at least 35 years is mandatory if you are looking forward to maximum social security benefits . The calculation of your Average Indexed Monthly Earnings (AIME) is based on the earnings made every month. It is easy to understand that if you have not worked for some time during this period, it will be counted as a phase of zero earning. And this zero earning period will ultimately play its role in decreasing the retirement benefits.
However, there is one factor that can help to streamline and even increase your average earnings, which is working for more than 35 years. The earnings after 60 years of age are not indexed . But they can replace the zero earning months and maximize the average of your working years.
Are you thinking about how it is possible to increase social security benefits by delaying them? Don't worry. We got the answer to your query! SSA allows you to claim your retirement benefits as soon as you turn 62. Yet, it is your choice if you want to claim it at 62 or not. Many people apply for their social security benefits as soon as they turn 62. It is because they don't realize that delaying them for a while can be immensely beneficial for them. It is said that you receive higher retirement benefits if you apply at the full retirement age (FRA) of 66 - 67 .
We know that delaying the Social Security Benefit claim for a few years can increase it later, but do you know you can get a huge 8% increase ? Yes, you are eligible for an 8% increase in the retirement benefits if you are above 70 years of age as it is considered to be the maximum age for senior citizen or retirement benefits. So, make sure to apply for social security benefits as soon as you turn 71 to get the most advantage.
But, considering your medical condition and needs is mandatory while making such a decision. If you think you cannot work past 62 years, we would not advise to wait for eight more years.
Keeping a check on your registered monthly earnings is vital to increase your benefits. If your income is not registered with the SSA every month, any missed income will appear as a zero. This unmentioned income devalues the average of your social security benefit..
Other than delaying your Social Security benefits, you can also take advantage of your spouse's retirement benefits. According to SSA , low earning spouses can apply for a Spousal benefit instead of a retirement benefit. This feature is quite beneficial for both as the higher-earning spouse gets their higher retirement benefit, and the other gets a high share. The best part is that when you apply, SSA compares your Retirement Benefits and the Spousal Benefits and grants you whichever is higher .
Though there is one more advantage for the people born before Jan 2, 1954, called the "Restricted Application". The restricted application allows you to get the spousal benefits until you decide to switch to your retirement benefits later.
Survivor's benefit can be claimed by the widow or widower in case of the death of their spouse. Even if they are getting a retirement benefit already, they are eligible to apply for the survivor's benefit and get the higher of the two . Delaying the Social Security Benefits up to 70 years of age can also lead to higher benefit for the family of the deceased.
You might want to delay your retirement benefits for up to 70 years. But it gets difficult with young children at home. You can claim for dependent child's benefit then. Some aspects that contribute to the claim include the number of children and the number of years before they turn 18. The spouse's benefits also affect the child's benefit.
Roth IRA is an excellent way to elevate your retirement income without any taxes. Some people might be facing tax on their Social Security Benefits depending on their tax history. But you can save yourself from some taxes by investing in the Roth IRA at the right time. Eligible Roth IRAs are not considered as income, and they are exempted from federal taxes . Saving this money also increases your benefits indirectly.
You may have applied for the social security benefits at 62, and now you are not happy with the decision. But there is hope!
If you have applied for your social security benefits and you wish to delay the process for achieving maximum benefits, you can do that within 12 months of application . This is a good idea if you have enough money to return the benefits you have already received. To get the most benefit later, you can withdraw the application within one year.
If the application can't be reversed, it can be suspended. You got that, right! The application for social security cannot be reversed after the 12-month window has passed. But, you can suspend the benefits until you turn 70.
The SSA allows you to resume the Social Security Benefits in case you wish to receive them before turning 70. You only have to notify the SSA about your decision.
Always make sure that you keep track of all the Social Security Benefits you are eligible for. These little yet important considerations can help you to maximize your Social Security Benefits in the best way possible.
About Dan Sullivan
Dan Sullivan is a renowned professor and esteemed education writer with a passion for inspiring students and transforming the field of education. With a diverse background in academia and practical teaching experience, he has become a leading figure in educational research and pedagogy.
Check These Out
Let's get FREE Gifts together. There're other Freebies here
AdBlock now to see them all. Click a button below to refresh