HomeBenefitsWho Benefits From Social Security

Who Benefits From Social Security

Will There Be A Fourth Stimulus Check For Social Security Recipients

Who Is Eligible for Social Security Disability Benefits

Inflation has eroded the value of Social Security checks, leaving many recipients struggling to afford basic necessities. Some seniors are forced to seek aid from food banks or skip meals to stretch their checks for an entire month. Social Security recipients could see their checks delayed if a government shutdown reduces the workforce involved in processing the benefits.

In light of these struggles, the Senior Citizens League, an organization that advocates for seniors, has called for a fourth stimulus check for Social Security recipients. It has launched a campaign to petition Congress to approve a special $1,400 emergency payment for people who rely on Social Security benefits.

Were There To Help If Disability Strikes

Isnt it reassuring to know that Social Security is here to help even if the unexpected happens? One in four of todays 20-year-olds will become disabled before they retire. Disability benefits provide modest coverage for severely disabled workers and their dependents, including our wounded warriors.

Qualifying For Social Security Benefits

To qualify for benefits, you must have enough work credits. A person can typically earn a maximum of four credits per year, and you must have at least 40 credits to qualify. You need to earn at least $1,510 per quarter in 2022 to receive work credit for that quarter. So, an individual earning just over $6,000 per year would receive all four work credits each year. This minimum amount increases each year for inflation. Once you have 40 work credits, then you can qualify for a benefit payment upon reaching age 62. The more work credits you have, the higher your payment is going to be.

In addition to the primary earner, there are also other beneficiaries who can receive benefits based on the primary earners work history. The most common beneficiary is a spouse. If your spouse is eligible to receive benefits, then you can claim Social Security spousal benefits based on his or her work history. The amount received by a spouse is typically 50% of the benefit amount of the primary spouse. In some cases, ex-spouses can also claim benefits. Upon the death of the primary earner, the spouse can switch over to survivor benefits. This allows the surviving spouse to receive 100% of the benefits that the deceased spouse was receiving. Dependents like children, step-children, or even grandchildren can also receive benefits in certain situations. These additional benefits can be extremely helpful to many people during retirement planning.

Don’t Miss: Hours Of Operation For Social Security Office

What’s Full Retirement Age

Full retirement age is when you’re eligible to receive full Social Security benefits. Your full retirement age depends on your birth year: For anyone born in 1960 or later, full retirement age is 67. For those born in 1955 through to the end of 1959 , full retirement age ranges between 66 and 2 months and 66 and 10 months. If you were born before 1955, you’ve already reached age 66 and full retirement age.

Direct Deposit: Its The Law

Should You Delay Applying For Social Security Past Age 70?

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

Recommended Reading: Social Security Office Cartersville Ga

When Could Your Social Security Run Out

In its research, J.P. Morgan Asset Management examined year-end portfolio values, with individuals claiming Social Security at various ages, using historical returns and inflation starting from 1966. In their study, they used the following assumptions: a starting portfolio value of $1.5 million an initial spending rate of $80,000 a 40% stocks and 60% bonds portfolio and historical Social Security cost-of-living increases. Here’s what they found:

A person who claimed Social Security at age 62 would have run out of money at age 90. A person who claimed Social Security at full retirement age would have run out of money at age 97 and a person who claimed Social Security at age 70 would have run out of money at age 100.

The research also concluded that a person with an average life expectancy of 81 should wait until at least full retirement age to claim Social Security while someone with a long life expectancy, of 88-plus, should wait until age 70.

If the markets are not so good, if you can at least hold on until your full retirement age , that’s probably going to still put you in a much better position, Carson said.

What Is The Minimum Social Security Benefit

Most Americans rely on Social Security retirement benefits during their retirement years. Some rely solely on these benefits, while nearly all retirees depend partially on the benefit payments. You probably already know that your benefit amount is calculated based on your lifetime earnings record. So how much does Social Security pay, and what happens to the monthly payments for low-income individuals? The primary insurance amount calculated based on their earnings record would likely be so low there would be no way for them to survive on that amount. The Social Security Administration has another method of calculating benefits for these individuals called the Special Minimum Benefit. Keep reading as we tell you how much this special amount is as well as how it is calculated.

You May Like: Social Security Appointment Name Change

Social Protections Crucial For Older Persons Persons With Disabilities Youth

Social pensions are a critical element of the right to social security for older persons whose human rights enjoyment is endangered without an adequate social pension. Older women are especially at risk. They live longer, and the unpaid care work they perform throughout their life obstructs their ability to access formal employment and therefore contributory social security or decent wages. Social and economic policies should correct this imbalance by promoting equality between women and men instead of deepening the gap. Childcare, for example, should be guaranteed as a social protection measure. The level of benefits for social pensions must ensure an adequate standard of living.

Social protection is key for persons with disabilities to gain independence from families, boost their social participation and support their ability to live with dignity. It can enhance the productivity, employability and economic development of persons with disabilities, and therefore contribute to their income security.

Social protection is crucial in mitigating the negative impacts of unemployment on youth, creating access to further education, facilitating their transition from school to work and improving their labour market opportunities, while securing the enjoyment of at least their core economic and social rights, including their rights to health, food, water and sanitation, education and housing.


How To Receive Federal Benefits

Social Security benefits increasing in 2022

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:

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.

Read Also: Social Security Office Traverse City Mi

Social Security Survivor Benefits

Social Security benefits may be available if you are the survivor–that is, the spouse, child, or parent of a worker who dies. The deceased must have worked long enough under Social Security to qualify for benefits.

Your survivor benefits are based on the earnings of the person who died. The amount you get is based on your age and the type of benefits you are able to receive each month you receive a percentage of the deceaseds basic Social Security benefits. The maximum survivors benefit you can get is limited to what the deceased would have received in life. Click here for additional details and examples.

What If I Change My Mind

If you receive Social Security benefits at a reduced rate but then change your mind, you have the option of withdrawing your application within the first 12 months of receiving benefits and paying back to the government what you’ve already received . Then, you could restart benefits at a later date to take advantage of a higher payout. Be aware that you’re limited to one withdrawal per lifetime.

For example, let’s say you elected to receive early benefits at age 62 but then decided to go back to work at age 63. You could withdraw your Social Security application, pay back the years’ worth of benefits you received, go back to work, and then wait until your full retirement age to restart your benefit checks at a higher level.

Once you reach full retirement age, another option is to voluntarily stop benefits at any point before age 70 to receive delayed retirement credits . Benefits will automatically restart at age 70 at a higher amountâunless you choose to start taking benefits before then. Note that when you withdraw your application or stop your benefits after full retirement age, you must specify if your Medicare coverageâif you have itâshould be included in the withdrawal.

Recommended Reading: Social Security Office In Jackson Tennessee

Paying Taxes On Your Retirement Benefits

Social Security retirement benefit recipients must pay Federal income taxes on their benefits. Due to personal income levels, about one-third of recipients actually have to pay some amount annually.

Each year, the Social Security Administration will mail recipients a Form SSA-1099 that shows the amount of benefits received during the preceding year. This form should be used to complete tax returns and help determine in any taxes are owed.

As a general rule, if you file as an individual and your combined income is between $25,000 and $34,000, you may have to pay taxes on up to 50 percent of your Social Security benefits. If your combined income is more than $34,000 you may be required to pay taxes on up to 85 percent of your benefits.

If you file a joint return and you and your spouses income is between $32,000 and $44,000, then 50 percent of your benefits may be taxed. If your combined income is about $44,000, then up to 85 percent of your benefits may be subject to income tax.

To assist with tax planning, Social Security can withhold Federal taxes throughout the year for benefit recipients which may be preferable to making quarterly estimated tax payments.

To Wait Or Not To Wait

Delaying Social Security Retirement Benefits

Consider taking benefits earlier if . . .

  • You are no longer working and can’t make ends meet without your benefits.
  • You are in poor health and don’t expect the surviving member of the household to make it to average life expectancy.
  • You are the lower-earning spouse, and your higher-earning spouse can wait to file for a higher benefit.

Consider waiting to take benefits if . . .

  • You are still working and make enough to impact the taxability of your benefits.
  • Either you or your spouse are in good health and expect to exceed average life expectancy.
  • You are the higher-earning spouse and want to be sure your surviving spouse receives the highest possible benefit.

Also Check: Social Security Office Hartford Connecticut

Is My Spouse Eligible To Receive Social Security Spousal Benefits

Spouses are eligible to receive 50 percent of their spouses full retirement benefit if they wait until they reach full retirement age. If they apply for a spousal retirement benefit before that time, the amount is pro-rated, depending on the age at which the spouse applies. For example:

If a spouse applies for a spousal retirement benefit at age 62 and the full retirement benefit is age 67, the applicant will get 32.5 percent of the spousal benefit.

If a spouse applies for a spousal retirement benefit at age 62 and the full retirement benefit is age 65, the applicant will get 37.5 percent of the spousal benefit.

The benefit increases as ages go up, to a maximum of 50 percent at full retirement age. It should also be noted that only one spouse can apply for a spouses benefit when a couple is married.

In cases of divorce, the divorced spouse can get retirement benefits on the spouses record if the marriage lasted for at least 10 years. To collect this benefit, the spouse must be at least 62 years old and not married. That benefit does not impact the amount a spouse and their current married partner can get.

The Bottom Line Advice

We dont say, Take early.’ We dont say, Take it late,” Carson stressed. “We say, Make an informed decision so that you understand the ramifications of what your choices are.”

Also Check: Brockton Ma Social Security Office

Fact #: Social Security Lifts Millions Of Older Adults Above The Poverty Line

Without Social Security benefits, about 4 in 10 adults aged 65 and older would have incomes below the poverty line, all else being equal, according to official estimates based on the 2021 Current Population Survey. Social Security benefits lift more than 16 million older adults above the poverty line, these estimates show.

An important study on retirement income from the U.S. Census Bureau that matches Census estimates to administrative data suggests that the official estimates overstate older people’s reliance on Social Security. The study finds that in 2012, 3 in 10 older adults would have been poor without Social Security, and that the program lifted more than 10 million older adults above the poverty line.

No matter how it is measured, its clear that Social Security lifts millions of older adults above the poverty line and dramatically reduces their poverty rate.

How Do You Qualify For Social Security Benefits

How much your Social Security benefits will be if you make $30,000, $35,000 or $40,000

You qualify for Social Security old age benefits by paying into the program during your working years. Full insurance is based on accumulating 40 quarters or “credits” from covered wages, and a worker can earn up to four credits a year. One credit is awarded for every $1,470 in earnings for 2021 , an amount that is adjusted annually to keep up with inflation.

A payroll tax cap sets the maximum amount of earned income that is subject to the Social Security payroll tax. The payroll tax cap in 2021 is $142,800 .

The SSA keeps track of your earnings throughout your career, indexes each year’s total earnings, and uses the 35 highest-earning years to determine your average indexed monthly earnings . Next, your AIME is used to arrive at your primary insurance amount , the monthly amount you can begin to collect when you reach full retirement age.

For individuals born in 1938 or later, the full retirement age gradually increases from 65 until it hits 67 for those born after 1959. You can collect Social Security retirement benefits at age 62, but the amount of the benefit will be reduced to compensate for receiving it earlier and, presumably, for a longer period of time.

If you wait until you’re 70 instead of 62 to collect benefits, you’ll get an extra 8% a year, which means you’ll collect 132% of your PIA for the rest of your life. Once you reach age 70 the increases stop.

Read Also: Is Social Security Tax Free

Column: Social Security Trustees Say The Us Is Rich Enough To Expand Not Shrink Benefits

Improving Social Security is a matter of political will, not affordability.

The programs opponents have long seen this disconnect as a wedge with which to weaken the programs popularity. Back in 1983, for example, the libertarian Cato Institute published a paper proposing a Leninist strategy to wage guerrilla warfare against both the current Social Security system and the coalition that supports it, and promote privatization in its stead.

The authors, Stuart Butler and Peter Germanis, were anguished over President Reagans failure to exploit Social Securitys 1982 fiscal crisis to privatize the program. They concluded that the reason was the programs strong support among the powerful voting bloc of seniors, compounded by the indifference of younger voters.

The answer, they concluded, was to undermine confidence in Social Security among the young. Their model was the Leninist movements success in isolating and weakening its opponents.

The young are the most obvious constituency for reform, the authors asserted, because they often express little or no confidence in the present Social Security system doubts stirred up by conservatives incessant claims of the systems impending bankruptcy.

In 2018, then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell , described those programs as the real drivers of the debt and called for them to be adjusted to the demographics of the future. Translation: Benefits need to be cut.

Column: Us Billionaires Are Done With Social Security Taxes For 2021 But Youll Pay All Year

Underscoring income inequality, Americas billionaires are already done paying their Social Security taxes for 2021.

The political challenge confronting the U.S. isnt figuring out how to shrink Social Security, but how to improve it so its even more relevant to todays workers, tomorrows retirees. Among the proposals is a bill dubbed Social Security 2100, introduced by Rep. John B. Larson and Sen. Richard Blumenthal, both Democrats from Connecticut.

The latest version of the bill has been criticized by some Social Security authorities for making some of its benefit increases temporary rather than permanent, and requiring smaller revenue increases than an earlier version.

On the whole, however, the measure, dubbed Social Security 2100: A Sacred Trust, would increase benefits across the board by an average 2%, set a minimum retirement benefit at 25% above the federal poverty line and extend dependent benefits for students up to age 26 , among other improvements.

Recommended Reading: How Long Does It Take To Get Social Security Benefits

Must Read