Social Security Retirement Benefits

Social Security Retirement Benefits


The program provides monthly income benefits to people who are retired, including veterans. This benefit is available to people who have worked and paid taxes into Social Security; their family members may also be eligible to receive a benefit. In order to pay taxes into the program, workers must have a Social Security card and number. The amount of income a person receives is based on factors such as date of birth, the type of benefit applied for, and the person's earnings. There are no geographic restrictions.

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 Replacement cards can be requested online at 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)

birth certificate

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 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 for specific information regarding veterans benefits. FEES/PAYMENT SOURCE There are no fees for services.
Application Procedure
Service Condition Fee




1165 E. Route 66

Glendora , CA 91740 (Physical)

Get directions

Service hours
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, 9:00am to 4:00pm; Wednesday, 9:00am to 12:00pm. National Toll Free number is available Monday through Friday, 7:00am to 7:00pm.


(866) 964-6045 (General Information) (800) 772-1213 (National Toll Free Number)


(800) 325-0778

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