An institution as large as one regarding social security is pretty much bound to generate questions about what it does exactly and how it works. Who is entitled to social security? How can you make sure if you are able to apply for it?
These questions and many more are the exact reason for the existence of this very article since here, we are going to talk about just what you need to know about the process of getting social security benefits, so, be sure to keep on reading in order to find out more.
Is Social Security Reserved Only For Retired Workers?
There is a big misconception regarding social security, resulting in many people believing that it’s reserved only for retired workers. But, the answer to this question is – no, social security isn’t only for retired workers. If we take a look at the data for august 2020, 71 percent of social security beneficiaries were for retirees, but the remainder were for spouses, ex-spouses, and children of retirees (as of 5%), for disabled workers and their families (15%), as well as for the survivors of deceased beneficiaries (9%).
That being said, before counting social security off, be sure to do your research in order to truly know if you are eligible.
At What Age Are You Eligible To Collect Social Security Benefits?
If we are talking about retiree social security benefits, you become eligible for receiving retirement benefits at age 62. That being said, you should know that your payments are going to be greater if you wait until your full retirement age, which is currently at the age of 66.
On the other hand, if you happen to be eligible for survivor benefits or Social Security Disability Insurance, you can start collecting way earlier, and age is not a crucial parameter whatsoever.
Social Security And Disability Benefits
You should know that social security and supplemental security income disability programs provide assistance to people with disabilities as well. As experts on this topic over at laportelawfirm.com/ explain, the process of gaining such benefits can indeed be stressful and confusing, but opting for the help of the professionals in the field can help out a great deal. Such professionals seek to minimize your stress by taking the extra time in order to explain the process, as well as to act on the steps that you find confusing and overwhelming.
That being said, how does the social security disability insurance (SSDI) program help people with disabilities? Well, it pays benefits to them, as well as to certain family members if they are “insured”. This basically means that they have worked long enough and recently enough as well, considering that they have paid social security taxes on their earnings. The Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program pays benefits to all disabled adults and children that happen to have limited income and resources.
How Can You Sign Up?
Now, the most frequently asked question of them all – what is the process for applying for social security benefits? There are three most commonly utilized ways for doing so – by phone, online, or in person. Considering that due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic most of the services, in general, are preferred to be done off-site, as of now, you can apply via phone or online.
In order to apply for retirement, spousal or disability benefits, you can do so either online or by phone at 800-772-1213. For survivor social security benefits, you are able to apply only by phone. Local Social Security offices have, due to the pandemic, been closed for in-person visits since March 2020. Once the situation starts getting better, offices are going to reopen, hence making it possible that you can file for all types of benefits in person.
Do You Need To Stop Working In Order To Be Eligible?
We have already mentioned that you don’t need to be a retiree in order to gain benefits, but, is it necessary for you to stop working in order to apply for, for instance, social security disability insurance? The answer is no – you can still receive benefits, even if you are working.
How Much Can You Expect To Actually Get From Social Security?
The amount that you can expect depends on a number of factors, but the most important variable is your lifetime earnings from work in which you have paid Social Security taxes. Social Security takes your 35 highest-earnings years, which are further calculated via an inflation-adjusted average, and that’s further plugged into a progressive formula that determines your benefit.
The second most important parameter is how old you are when you claim benefits. You won’t know for sure how much you can gain from benefits until you file, but you can use the AARP Social Security Calculator in order to get an estimate.
All that it comes to is that you need to take your time in order to conduct proper research so that you can know what your situation is and how you can benefit from social security, and under which circumstances. Now that you know all the frequently asked questions, all that’s left is to make sure that you understand the details. That being said, look it up before applying!