Social Security Retirement Benefits
People born before 1938 are eligible for full Social Security benefits at age 65. (For people born after this date, the full retirement age will gradually increase to age 67 for those born in 1938 or later). People may start receiving benefits at age 62. However, this is a reduced amount of the benefit one would receive if application were made at the full retirement age. People who continue working beyond their full retirement age, are eligible to receive a special credit which increases the amount of their benefit.
People who receive retirement benefits may earn money and still collect Social Security benefits. There is a limit to the amount that may be earned before the amount of the benefit is affected. The amount that may be earned differs for people that retire before their full retirement age. After a person reaches his/her full retirement age, there is no limit to how much they can earn. SSA does not include pensions, annuities, investment income, interest, Social Security, veterans or other government benefits as earnings that may affect the amount of an individual's benefit.
Recipients must report to SSA the following changes in circumstance which may affect their continued receipt of benefits:
change in residence or mailing address
change in marital status
change in name
change in income or earnings
if a child is born or adopted
if a beneficiary is imprisoned
if they leave the United States
if a beneficiary dies
If a beneficiary is unable to handle his or her own financial affairs, SSA may appoint a relative, friend, or other interested party as a "representative payee." Representative payees must file periodic accounting reports with SSA to show how the beneficiary's funds were spent or saved.
FAMILY BENEFITS Other family members may also be eligible for retirement or payments when one member of the family begins collecting a benefit. Family benefits are paid at a reduced percentage of the beneficiaries benefits; there are limits and other rules that apply. Benefits can be paid to:
a spouse if he or she is age 62 or older (unless s/he collects at a higher rate on another or his/her own record)
a spouse of any age who is caring for the beneficiaries child if the child is age 16 or younger or has a disability
children, if they are unmarried and age 17 or younger; or age 18 or younger, but a full-time student in an elementary or secondary school; or age 18 or older and severely disabled (the disability must have started before age 22)
BENEFITS FOR DIVORCED PEOPLE If a person is divorced (even if s/he is remarried), his or her ex-spouse may be eligible for benefits on the former spouse's record. In some situations, an ex-spouse may receive benefits even if the former spouse is not receiving them. In order to qualify, the former spouse must:
have been married to the beneficiary for at least 10 years, and be currently unmarried
be age 62 or older
not be eligible for an equal or higher benefit on his or her own Social Security record, or on someone else's Social Security record
Benefits paid to an ex-spouse do not affect the amount of any benefits payable to the beneficiary or other members of his or her family.
DIRECT DEPOSIT Go Direct is a national campaign designed to motivate more Americans to select direct deposit for their Social Security, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and other federal benefit payments. The U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Federal Reserve Banks are sponsoring this campaign.
DIRECT EXPRESS CARD The U.S. Federal Department of the Treasury requires all benefit payments be made electronically. Direct Express is the debit mastercard card for the monthly benefits payment. The federal benefits will be automatically deposited on the debit card account on the payment day. The card can be used to make purchases and get cash back at stores.
APPEALS People have the right to appeal a decision that affects their eligibility for Social Security benefits. There are three steps in the appeals process available with SSA. Beyond that, people may take their case to a Federal court. LANGUAGES OTHER THAN ENGLISH Spanish; other languages are available depending on the office. A translation service is available for all languages. APPLICATION PROCEDURE To apply Social Security card or to file a claim for Social Security retirement benefits, walk in to any local SSA office or visit www.ssa.gov. Replacement cards can be requested online at https://www.ssa.gov/ssnumber/. People may call the teleservice center to make an appointment. People should file a claim three months before they wish to begin receiving benefits.
People may need to present the following documents (originals or certified copies) when they apply for a card or file a claim:
Social Security card (or a record of their social security number)
children's birth certificates (if they are applying)
marriage certificate (for name change or signing up on a spouse's record)
divorce papers (if applicable to a name change)
most recent W-2 or, if self-employed, tax return
check or other papers with bank account number if they wish direct deposit of their check
Applicants for direct deposit can refer to www.godirect.org or call the contact numbers listed.
For the Direct Express debit card call the number listed for Customer Service for questions related to the card.
Visit www.socialsecurity.gov/woundedwarriors for specific information regarding veterans benefits. FEES/PAYMENT SOURCE There are no fees for services.
14500 Roscoe Blvd., Ste. 207
Panorama City , CA 91402 (Physical)Get directions
(800) 772-1213 (National Toll Free Number) (866) 341-0785