security benefits

Social Security: Benefits and Taxes

If taxes were also a thing of the past once you’re retired and no longer earning wages, it’d be nice. Unfortunately, you may not be able to leave your tax bill behind along with your job. Actually, one Social Security administration study forecast that an average of 56% of beneficiary families would pay taxes on their Social Security benefits between 2015 and 2050.

Why Social Security is Taxable

Once upon a time, Social Security benefits were completely tax-free. Subsequently, in 1983, President Reagan signed an amendment making up to 50% of Social Security benefits taxable. In 1993, President Clinton signed a bill that (among other things) made up of 85% of “higher income” Social Security recipients’ benefits subject to taxation. Sadly, that bill didn’t provide a method for raising the tax’s income thresholds in response to inflation, so what was once a “higher income” threshold now contains a much wider range of Social Security beneficiaries.

The Best Way To Learn If Your Benefits Will Be Taxed

The very first step in determining whether your benefits will be taxable is to compare your income to the base brink. If you are already receiving Social Security benefits, then your annual Form SSA-1099 will tell you how much you received in benefits during the last year. In the event you’re not yet receiving benefits, you can look at your Social Security statement and use the estimated benefit from that form. Just take the monthly estimated benefit number and multiply it by 12 to see how much Social Security money you’ll be getting per year.

Next, divide your annual Social Security benefit by two. Add this number to any other taxable income you received during the year, plus tax-exempt interest earnings. The total is what’s known as your “provisional income,” and if it exceeds a particular threshold based on your own filing status, then your gains will be at least partially taxable:

Note that “up to” that percentage of your Social Security benefit will soon be taxable if your provisional income exceeds the threshold. You might be taxed on a much lower percentage of your benefit depending on the makeup of your income. To figure out how much of your benefit have a look at IRS Publication 915, might be subject to tax or simply plug some numbers into our calculator that is easy.

How to minimize your tax bill

Obviously, it’s to your benefit to minimize how much of your Social Security will be taxed, if possible. For most retirees, it is distributions from traditional IRAs and 401(k) accounts that push their taxable income over the threshold and cause their Social Security to be taxed. Regrettably, you don’t have complete control over how much cash you take out of these accounts: The IRS requires you to take required minimum distributions once you hit age 70-1/2. Your only choice with traditional retirement accounts is to limit yourself to the required minimum distribution (assuming that’s enough for you to live on) and hope those funds won’t shove you over the taxation brink.

If you are fortunate enough to have a Roth, you’re in a much better position to control your Social Security tax. Roth distributions are not taxable income, so they do not count toward the income threshold that determines whether your benefits are taxable. And there’s no required minimum distribution from Roth accounts, so you can take distributions when it makes the most sense for you and leaves the rest to keep growing for as long as possible.

Read more: Top Tips for Minimizing Taxes on Social Security

Get your Social Security Benefits Statement Online

Social Security is with you through life’s journey, putting you in control of your finances and future. With this in mind, we have made getting a replacement Social Security Benefit Statement even easier. Now you can instantly print or save a replacement anytime you want. That’s control!

The Benefit Statement also called the SSA-1099 or the SSA-1042S, is a tax form Social Security mails each year in January to people who receive Social Security benefits. It shows the total amount of benefits you received from Social Security in the previous year so you know how much Social Security income to report to the IRS on your tax return.

An SSA-1042S is for a noncitizen who resides outside America and received or repaid Social Security benefits last year.
In case you already have my Social Security account, you can access your online account to view and print your SSA-1099 or SSA-1042S. If you don’t have my Social Security account, creating a secure account is very easy to do and usually, takes less than 15 minutes.

Social Security Payroll Tax

For tens of millions of Americans, Social Security is an irreplaceable lifeline that ensures they can meet their monthly expenses.
According to data from the Social Security Administration (SSA), 61% of current beneficiaries count on their Social Security benefits for at least half of their monthly income. This figure is even higher for unmarried elderly individuals (71%). Suffice it to say that without Social Security income, the poverty rate for retirees would be a lot higher.

Social Security’s Shortfall Inches Closer

Yet America’s most crucial program for seniors isn’t on the most solid financial ground. As stated by the Social Security Board of Trustees’ report from this past year, Social Security’s Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance (OASDI) Trust is likely to burn through its reserves of more than $2.8 trillion by 2034. This dwindling of Social Security’s cash cushion down toward zero is what has led a lot of working Americans to believe that the gain will not be around for them by the time they retire.

Now, despite this worrisome forecast, there is a little good news: Social Security is not going anywhere anytime soon. While advantages for present and future retirees could be adjusted downward to keep the system solvent, payroll taxes ensure that Social Security will be there for future generations. As long as people keep working, Social Security will keep receiving fresh revenue that it can pay out to its eligible beneficiaries.


Top Tips for Minimizing Taxes on Social Security

Nearly 90% of individuals over age 65 rely on Social Security income to pay for a large portion of living expenses throughout their retirement years. The federal government makes this benefit available to those who have worked and contributed to the system for a certain number of years, but the total monthly benefit varies from person to person. Although Social Security is an unavoidable part of most people’ retirement planning, retirees may not be fully aware of how and when those benefits are taxed.

How can my overall tax rate change?

Half of your Social Security benefits count toward your combined income, which contains your adjusted gross income plus nontaxable interest. If your combined income reaches a specific threshold – $25,000 for an individual and $32,000 for a married couple filing jointly – you ’ll have to pay income tax on anywhere from 50% to 85% of your Social Security benefits. The Social Security website has more information on the percent of benefits taxable.

When Social Security Is Not Taxable

For retirees who receive Social Security income with little to no supplemental influx of cash, either from retirement plan distributions or other earnings, most likely those benefits are not taxable. The average benefit received is just under $1,300 each month, totaling $15, 600 annually, and benefits are only taxable when combined income exceeds $25,000 for single retirees or $32,000 for couples filing joint tax returns. Individuals who are able to sustain the type of lifestyle they need or want on that amount of income do not pay taxes on their Social Security benefits.

Keep your income below the threshold

You almost certainly won’t have to pay tax on your payments, if your only source of retirement income is Social Security. Most individuals would not have a sufficient amount of income to hit the brink and have any of their Social Security income be taxable.
However, once the sum of your adjusted gross income, nontaxable interest and half of your Social Security benefit tops $25,000 for individuals and $32,000 for couples, you may have to pay income tax on up to 50 percent of your Social Security benefit. And if these retirement income sources top people and $44, for $34,000 000 for couples, up to 85 percent of your Social Security payments may be taxable.

But no workers pay income tax on 100 percent of their Social Security retirement benefit under current law. It’s going to extend down over time to more of the middle class. Workers collectively paid $20.7 billion in taxes on their old-age and survivors insurance benefits in 2013.

Consider delaying Social Security benefits.

The last several articles we’ve published have gone over a myriad of benefits associated with delaying your Social Security. Promising Social Security as late as age 70 results in higher income later in life, higher overall income for clients who live past the breakeven age, and higher survivor benefits for widows and widowers. Now we know delaying Social Security can be smart from a tax point of view also.

Use Tax Arbitrage to Your Advantage

Up to 85% of your Social Security benefits received can be taxed, but never 100%. This means that after taxes, a dollar of Social Security income is worth more than a dollar of IRA withdrawals.

It can make a significant difference over the course of your retirement years if you design a retirement income plan that takes advantage of this tax arbitrage. You can pay less in tax, and have more to spend.

There are many ways when you begin taking money, you can aim to reduce taxes. The most common strategy is to delay the start of your Social Security benefits to age 70 while taking IRA withdrawals or using Roth conversions in your 60’s. This isn’t the best choice for everyone, but for many families, this approach results in less total taxes during their retirement years.

Much of the planning has to do with how other sources of income affect how much of your Social Security benefits will be taxable. Many can lower their tax bill by planning the timing of those other sources of income out.

Consider drawing off “tax deferred” retirement assets

Although preserving the tax deferral of IRAs is often recommended, there are instances where it makes more sense to start siphoning off cash earlier than you must. One such example is for the purpose of delaying Social Security benefits to age 70. This increases your lifetime Social Security benefits and decreases your total tax bill. The reason is that taxes on Social Security benefits raise the effective tax rate on whatever IRA distribution you take.

Minimize expenses

The easiest method to minimize combined income is to keep your expenses low after retirement. This is a major reason it’s a good idea to pay off your mortgage before you retire. A mortgage payment is the biggest monthly expense for many households. When you can eliminate that bill, then it will be quite a bit easier live on $32,500 per year.

Around this time of the year, no one likes the word “tax”. The tax code is incredibly complicated, and it’s a huge concern to cope with. However, if you plan it right, you won’t need to pay much tax at all in retirement. It is an excellent feeling in order to keep more of your money when you need it the most.


Common Reasons Social Security Disability Claims Are Denied

Millions of people apply for Social Security Disability benefits every year. Out of those millions of applications received by the Social Security Administration, only thirty percent are approved at the initial degree of the disability claim process. Why are so many Social Security Disability claims denied?

The reasons for a denial of Social Security Disability benefits change from one claim to the next, however, there are common reasons for a claim to be denied. It is important to understand the top reasons why many claims are denied by the Social Security Administration if you are applying for Social Security Disability benefits. Keep the following things in mind so you could increase your likelihood of a successful Social Security Disability claim when submitting your application for Social Security Disability benefits.

You do not fulfill the basic non-medical requirements

In the event you don’t meet their eligibility requirements, known as a technical refusal, the SSA won’t even take a look at your medical records. For Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), you may get a technical denial if you earn more compared to the substantial gainful activity limit of $1,090 per month or have insufficient work credits. For Supplemental Security Income (SSI), you can’t exceed the SSA’s income or asset limits.

Some nonmedical reasons folks are denied benefits more apply to SSI. It’s advantage limits since it is a welfare program; you can’t have more than $2,000 in the bank as an individual or $3,000 as a couple. You can own a house and also a car, but you can’t two houses or own a boat. I have no data to back this up, but I’d say the most common non-medical reasons people are refused [for SSDI benefits ] have to do with failure to comply. They miss an appointment at SSA, they don’t provide the correct information about their income, they fail to report all of the doctors they went to, they miss a consultative exam, they didn’t get the extra medical records that would have provided more support for their medical case, etc.

Lack of Hard Medical Evidence

Many Social Security Disability claims are denied due to a lack of strong medical evidence. That you’ll need to demonstrate that you are incapable of working due to your disabling condition in the event you would like to qualify for disability benefits. In order to triumph in this, you have to have medical records that demonstrate your impairment has interfered with your ability to perform a work activity. As an example, you might be seeing your doctor every month for severe back pain but your claim for Social Security Disability might be refused, in case your doctor has not documented how that back pain interferes with your capability to work.

Lots of individuals presume that Social Security will send them to physicians who will assemble the evidence needed to approve a claim for Social Security Disability benefits. This isn’t the case. It may well not be enough to establish your disability, even if you are sent for a medical exam by the Social Security office. The medical records kept by your primary care physicians are what will be most important in determining the success of your claim for Social Security Disability benefits. As a result of this, it is essential that you discuss how your handicap is affecting your work life with your physician.

Doctor’s notes excusing you from work or records suggesting a modified work schedule should be included with your medical files if possible. In the event, you were working prior to filing for handicap and had to miss time from work because of the incapacity, keep a record of just how much time was lost. This will definitely help present your case for Social Security Disability to the Social Security Administration.

You Get Too Much Income

For SSDI, which is the benefit plan for workers who’ve paid into the Social Security system over multiple years, one of the very most fundamental reasons you could be denied benefits is that, when you apply, you’re working above the limitation where it’s considered “substantial gainful activity” (SGA). This implies you bring in too much money to be considered disabled. You are permitted to work a little amount when you’re applying for and collecting SSDI, but not over the SGA limit, which is $1,170 per month in 2017 (for nonblind individuals). The figure is adjusted annually. Income from investments doesn’t count toward the SGA-only work income counts, as it shows your ability to work.

As to SSI, which is the disability benefit for low-income folks, when you submit an application for SSI, you can’t be making over the substantial gainful activity level (although after approval you can make more cash than that). But there’s a limit on all earned and unearned income for SSI, around $1,500 per month, that implements both when you are applying for benefits and when you’re collecting benefits. And anytime your income is over $740-$800, your SSI payment will likely be reduced, by a somewhat complicated formula. Would be reduced to zero; in payment in case you make about $1,500 or more, your other words, you won’t qualify for SSI.

The SSA Cannot Find You

The SSA and Disability Determination Services (DDS)-the agency that determines your medical qualification for benefits must have the capacity to speak with you regarding your application. In case these agencies cannot reach you to schedule exams or communicate together with you about matters that were crucial, your benefits may be refused. If you name a representative (for example an attorney) to handle your paperwork, you might not need to get in touch with the SSA, but be sure to stay in touch by means of your representative or solicitor. Make certain the SSA knows just how to get hold of you, in the event you move while your application is being considered. Claimants (those who are applying for Social Security disability) get denied every day because the SSA cannot find them.


Things Everyone Must Know About Social Security Disability Benefits

Perhaps you have found yourself staring blankly at the FICA tax information on your own pay stub, and wondered how that impacts your future retirement benefits? You’re not alone. Untangling the often baffling aspects of Social Security benefits are sometimes a daunting task, especially since you won’t get much case-specific advice from the Social Security Administration. From researching your options to hiring a professional, use all of the strategies and resources available to create this important financial decision easier

To help get you started, we compiled a record of some little-known Social Security benefits that may make a major difference in your retirement income.

How One Qualifies for Social Security Disability

Just as with retirement benefits under Social Security, you need to work a minimum length of time to qualify for disability benefits. Social Security uses exactly the same credit system for incapacity as for retirement, annual wages making one credit, up in with every $1,200 to a maximum of four credits per the calendar year.

Unlike retirement credits, though, the number of credits you need to qualify varies by age. For those 62 or older, you should have 40 credits, and you have to have made at least 20 of those credits within the 10-year span prior to your becoming disabled. However, the total number of credits falls by two for every two years younger than 62 you are, reaching 20 credits for those between the ages of 42 and 31. Younger workers need to have credits for half the time between their 21st birthday and also the year they become disabled, with a minimum of six credits for those 24 or younger.

When is a child entitled to disability benefits?

Youngsters under age 18 who are disabled may be qualified for childhood disability benefits if their parent has a disability or is deceased and was insured at the time of death. An unmarried disabled child who is older than age 18 may be eligible for benefits if the disability began before age 22. There’s no upper age limit for youth disability benefits.

Additionally, unmarried children are entitled to child’s insurance benefits on the Social Security record of their disabled or deceased parents in the event the kid is under age 18 or between age 18 and 19 and a full-time student.

Who is “handicapped”?

The Social Security Administration uses a strict definition of impairment. The program does not pay for partial disability or short-term disability. Your disability must prevent you from doing any substantial gainful work to qualify for benefits under SSDI, also it must last or be expected to last a year or to result in death.

Regardless of the rule that the disability has to be expected to continue a year, you ought to apply for benefits the moment the condition becomes disabling along with your doctor is willing to state in writing it is anticipated to last at least a year. If it turns out that you recover sooner than expected, the SSA will not ask for its money back.

Elderly workers who become disabled tend to possess a simpler time having their claims approved. The SSA recognizes that it’s harder for older workers to be retrained or to find new employment. Additionally, the agency knows that a disabled worker who’s, say, 60 years old and will be receiving retirement benefits in a number of years anyway will cost it less in than a younger worker would, benefit outlays.

Which are the Medical Requirements for Social Security Disability?

The SSA defines disability for the purposes of benefits as being unable to perform a “substantial gainful activity” because of a physical or mental impairment that has lasted at least 12 months or the condition is likely to continue at least 12 months or result in death. The SSA has a Record of Disabilities, referred to as the Blue Book, which describes mental and physical impairments that are considered so intense they prevent you from working. Nonetheless, you need to fulfill or exceed the requirements for the state to be considered disabled.

What can you do to improve your chances of being approved?

Request the oncologist or primary physician to write a letter or make a comment in the office visit notes for how many months or what portion of time someone would miss because of treatment or unwanted side effects and about how many days a month the man will likely overlook work. Help your doctor understand that claimants can receive benefits for a “closed span” as long as the amount of impairment is at least 12 continuous months.

Claimants can also request their caregiver to fill out a Third Party Function Report or write a short letter explaining the things assistance is now needed by the claimant with.

All of these strategies for dealing with cancer and Social Security Disability demand the experience as well as the insight of a seasoned Southern Illinois Social Security Disability representative.

Keep in mind that if a case is not approved at the first or second period the current wait time for a hearing for the Evansville, Indiana hearing office (ODAR) is almost 2 years from the second appeal. Retaining a representative after the first denial is a very good idea particularly for claimants with aggressive cancers who might have less than two years to live.

Applying for benefits

Unlike applying for retirement benefits, the application process for disability benefits is complicated and time-consuming. Before benefits can be collected by you, you have to have been disabled for at least six months. However, since the application procedure itself can take up to six months, do not wait for the six-month period of incapacity to elapse before applying for benefits; do it as soon as you become disabled.

The initial application is created at your local Social Security Office. (Don’t know where your local office is? Just click here for the SSA’s Social Security Locator.) If the office determines you have disability benefits to collect, it will forward your application to a Disability Determination Services office in your state, that will make the decision about whether you meet the Social Security Administration’s criteria for handicap. This selection is made by a physician and also a disability evaluation specialist. They may request additional medical records and/or request a medical evaluation or test. This examination will probably be paid for by the SSA.

social security

Ideas to Maximizing your Social Security Benefits

Social Security applicants now have fewer filing alternatives than they had previously, but there are still some strategies that can allow you to maximize your benefits for yourself and your family members.

The first thing you should understand about Social Security is that when you file for one form of benefit, for example, a spousal benefit, the Social Security Administration will deem you to have filed for every type of gain for which you’re eligible, including spousal, family, or individual advantages. This implies that you just can no longer file for just one kind of benefit in the event you are eligible to receive at least two types of benefits. It will likewise begin paying an amount that is about equal to the biggest of these benefits unless you opt to suspend your benefits to you. In case you suspend them, then you will not receive payments until a time of your maximum retirement age or your choosing.

Here are the key strategies that may enable you to optimize Social Security benefits.

Know whether you’re eligible for more than only your own retirement benefit

If you are married, divorced or widowed you may also be able to claim a “spousal” or “survivor” benefit based on the work records of your spouses and exes, whether they are alive or dead.

That presumes three things, however: you were married for a certain amount of time (minimums vary), you don’t remarry too soon and you’re strategic about when you employ. In the event you are wed, one of you might claim a full spousal benefit, which is equivalent to one-half of your partner’s retirement benefit.

If you’re divorced, you as well as your ex each may claim a spousal benefit on the basis of the retirement benefit of the other, assuming you were married for at least 10 years. Your survivor’s benefit may be as much as 100% of your deceased spouse’s full retirement benefit, in the event you are widowed. But, in some cases, your survivor benefit will be reduced, depending on when you take it.

Examine the wage history of the Social Security statement

Social Security payments are derived from an individual’s work history, particularly on the average wage over the 35 highest earning years, adjusted for inflation. Someone needs to work 10 years in order to amass the needed 40 Social Security credits for that person or her or his partner to collect Social Security benefits.

Advice about one’s wage history can be found on their Social Security statement, which until two years back was mailed to most adults yearly. Not anymore. Mailings are done only once every five years for those under 60, so clients should set up an account at where they could view their statement at any time.

Wage errors could be corrected anytime so long as suitable proof is provided, but correcting self-employment income blunders is another story. There’s a statute of limitations. Errors need to be corrected no later than three years, three months and 15 days following the end of the year where the self-employment income was earned.

Suspension of benefits and the four-year window

If you were born after Jan. 1, 1954 and you began taking Social Security retirement benefits early, then you can still freeze your benefits when you reach full retirement age and allow them to grow by 8% each year until age 70. Nonetheless, your spouse won’t have the ability to collect any kind of spousal benefit off of your record in the interim. If you are married and your spouse is at least four years older or younger than you, and the younger of the two of you turned 62 by the end of 2015, then he or she can still file for a full spousal benefit after reaching full retirement age and suspend their own individual benefit until they reach the maximum retirement age.

In case you’re a divorced spouse who turned 62 before Jan. 1, 2016, then you can still claim spousal benefits based upon your ex-spouse’s earnings, even if your ex has elected to freeze their benefits. After that, you can suspend your own advantage in the event you so choose until you have reached the maximum retirement age.There are methods to unite these choices to provide even more options, while there are four basic alternatives for collecting benefits. Here are three of the top strategies which you can use to maximize your Social Security benefits:

There are methods to unite these choices to provide even more options, while there are four basic alternatives for collecting benefits. Here are three of the top strategies which you can use to maximize your Social Security benefits:

  • File and Suspend. This strategy works for couples in which one partner is ready to retire, but the other spouse is planning to continue working. A working partner who has reached full retirement age can file for benefits and then instantly freeze them. Once the worker freezes benefits, the non-working spouse can start receiving spousal benefits while the worker continues to work. The longer the worker delays retirement, the more delayed retirement credits he or she’s going to gather. To learn more about this strategy.
  • Claim Now, Assert More Later. Under this strategy, the partner who got less would maintain early retirement benefits at 62 while the higher-earning spouse waited. The higher-earning partner once he or she reached full retirement age, would assert a spousal benefit. Afterward, at 70, the higher-earning spouse cease receiving the spousal benefit and would claim the most amount of her or his retirement benefit. For extra information.
  • Do Over Rule. Guess you reach early retirement age and have a short-term need for money? A person who is 62 years or older can start collecting benefits but stop the benefits within 12 months of the start, then still, and refund the benefits collected be qualified for the higher benefit amount at full retirement age or older. It is basically a one-year interest-free loan. In order to get higher benefits if you take benefits early but are not able to quit the benefits within 12 months of starting, you can still suspend your benefits. As an example, should when you reach your full retirement age you begin accumulating at 62 but no longer need the income, you could freeze benefits until 70. You won’t get a complete do-over, but between your total retirement age and 70, you would earn delayed retirement credits, which would increase your ultimate benefit amount when you gather at age 70. To find out more concerning this strategy.

You Want to Avoid These Social Security Claiming Mistakes

So what are the most common mistakes in claiming social security benefits? Let’s find out.

After decades of paying into the Social Security system, many retirees are ready to start collecting that monthly check as soon as possible.

The Social Security program is misunderstood by most people…and this can lead to maintaining mistakes that usually cost single people tens of thousands of dollars in cumulative lifetime benefits; for married couples, the cost usually exceeds $100,000 and often adds up to hundreds of thousands of dollars. That’s a high price to pay for being poorly informed.

Here are three of the biggest mistakes we make regarding this system when we go to claim our benefits and how this leads to costly errors.

Don’t Know About the Earnings Limit

In case you claim benefits before you reach your full retirement age (which varies by year of birth) and you earn in excess of the earnings limit (which will be adjusted upward along with inflation each year) then your Social Security benefits will be reduced.
People that think they can be fully used and collect their Social Security benefits are often caught off guard when the Social Security office tells them they made too much money and they should repay some of the benefits. Once you reach full retirement age, you’ll be able to bring in as much as you’d like with no reduction in benefits.

Fail To Coordinate Benefits With Their Spouse

Often, married couples don’t realize that they ought to be working together as a team when thinking about when to take their Social Security. Too often couples focus merely on their own Social Security benefit and fail to recognize that they may be eligible for a spousal benefit, which can be up to 50% of their spouse’s benefit while they wait to claim their very own benefits. Missing these benefits often costs a couple $40,000 to $50,000 in lost benefits.

Typically, the higher-earning partner needs to be especially careful about when to claim Social Security benefits on his or her own record. This is because the Social Security benefit of the higher-earning spouse is going to be the benefit that lasts the longest for the couple. Put simply, it is “ inherited” by the surviving partner. For this reason, a significant difference can be made by pursuing a strategy that increases the survivor benefit as much as possible. Most couples miss another $70,000 to $80,000 by failing to maximize survivor benefits.

Neglect To Work For At Least 35 Years

Social Security is based on your highest 35 years of earnings history. Continuing to work in retirement can be one of the best ways to increase your Social Security benefits, notably for couples that are married. Each additional year of current gains from work that replace a lower earning year will increase your (and potentially your spouse’s) Social Security. If you have less than 35 years of earnings, the non-working years will be counted as “ 0, ” lowering your gains.

Married couples have more options

Single individuals can only control at what age they begin receiving their benefits. On the other hand, married couples, along with couples that had divorced but had been married for a minimum of ten years, have a number of different choices to consider. In fact, each of the married partners is usually entitled to three different kinds of advantages – based on their circumstances.

  • Spousal benefit – that allows you to get 50% of your partner’s benefits while he/she is still living. However, if you were not at your full retirement age, you would receive only part of these benefits
  • A retired worker benefit – the benefits that you gather over your own working years
  • Survivor’s gain – this entitles you to a deceased spouse’s full benefits. But when you yourself have not reached your full retirement age, you’ll get only part of those benefits.

What you don’t want to do

While it might be very tempting to try to hold off until age 70 to begin collecting your benefits, the one thing you shouldn’t do is to try to get through those years using credit cards. They might be a way to get the food, clothing, transportation before you begin making higher benefits to those, and so forth you need now but it will come with a price. Most credit cards today have interest rates of 18% or higher. In the event you were to run up $20,000 in credit card debt at 18% during the four years you were waiting for your advantages, your total interest cost would be something in the neighborhood of $8,200, which you could probably ill afford.

Not using online planning tools

There are many online tools that are simple enough for most individuals to use. In order to get the data you have regarding your Social Security benefits, start with the online tools at the Social Security Website, they’re free.

There are also a handful of proprietary on-line tools which might be available for a modest price, such as those at,, and The cost is a fair investment considering the potential gain you might understand.

Spending a handful of hours to understand the results of your decisions can add many thousands of dollars to your life Social Security payouts. It’s well worth your time – and your bottom line – to spend a number of afternoons or evenings doing your research and estimating your benefits online.


What Veterans Should Know About Social Security Disability Insurance

Americans who engage in military service can suffer from physical and mental side effects lasting a lifetime. These veterans who have become disabled may have the right to receive disability benefits in the Social Security Administration. Veterans who are already receiving VA benefits can potentially qualify for either Supplement Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). To be able to qualify for SSDI, a veteran has to meet the basic work history requirements and must have worked at least 5 from the last ten years. For SSI, a veteran must meet the asset and income limits established by the SSA.

Veterans that have a VA disability with all the U.S. Department of Veteran can possibly qualify for additional disability benefits from social security. Unfortunately, if your veteran is receiving a pension in the VA and doesn’t satisfy with the work history requirements, the veteran only qualifies for SSI and is no longer eligible for SSDI benefits. Recall it’s good to keep in mind that SSI is an income-based program and also a veteran with a pension may no longer qualify for additional disability benefits.

When Are Veterans Eligible for Social Security Disability?

You’re only eligible for disability benefits from Social Security (called Social Security Disability Insurance, or SSDI) in case you have worked full time at least five of the past ten years. If you wait too long after you quit working before you fill out an application for Social Security benefits, you may no more manage to receive them.

Often you are able to receive Social Security disability benefits to any disability compensation in addition the VA pays you. On the flip side, when you possess a VA pension, Social Security payments may set you above the income limitations of the system and disqualify you for your pension.

How are Social Security work credits managed for veterans?

If a veteran served in before their earnings or 2001 receive special credits of computing Social Security benefits for a purpose. Credits equal $300 for each quarter of active duty pay for individuals who served between 1977 and 1957. In the event, you served between 1978 and 2001 you receive credits equal to an added $100 in gains for each $300 you received in active duty pay ( complete credits may not exceed $1,200 a year). Beginning in 2002 credits are not supplemented.

For those veterans who served before the military was included below the Social Security system in 1957, Congress has provided credits for those on active duty from September 1940. These veterans are credited with $160 of earnings for purpose of computing Social Security benefits.

Imagine if I’d Bad Conduct Discharge or a Dishonorable?

Irrespective of what type of discharge you’d from the military, you may be eligible for Social Security disability insurance in case your disability keeps you from working. A dismissal that is negative doesn’t bar you.

Will I Mechanically Get Social Security Disability Since I Get VA Disability Compensation?

Many veterans think that qualifying for VA disability benefits makes them eligible for Social Security disability benefits. But, both applications define handicap quite differently and have different application procedures, so just since you get VA service -connected damages or VA pension does not mean you will be approved for Social Security disability. Having said that, Social Security must give some weight to a VA finding of disability. And when the VA has rated you 100% handicapped due to being unemployable or completely disabled, this should take a substantial quantity of weight with Social Security in its decision-making process.

The longer you serve, the more critical your retirement benefits.

Military retirement benefits apply to servicemen as well as women who spent at least 20 years in the military. The total amount of monthly retirement income that a veteran receives is predicated on greatest military wage and standing or years of service along with the person’s last.

Military retirement benefits might additionally function as a kind of life-insurance.

In the event of the death of a retired serviceman or woman who had been receiving military retirement benefits, a monthly annuity becomes accessible through the Survivor Benefit Plan into a living wife or widower, or the retiree’s child/children, or a former partner (with qualifying states), or a different designated beneficiary. That monthly annuity will probably be paid for the survivors’ life.

Social Security Application Assist

Veterans that are applying for Social Security Disability benefits might become might need help with their application and overwhelm from the process. Americans are permitted to make an experienced representative to represent them throughout the SSA’s handicap application procedure on their behalf. The issue is less than 20% of all applicants are now actually approved for benefits and the SSA wrongfully refuses capable applicants. Normally, denials happen when the applicant improperly filed an application, didn’t supply enough medical signs of the status, or is making too much in got and unearned income ( in case that it’s applicable).
Seasoned Disability Advocates or Attorneys have much greater acceptance rates with some upward as high as 70% (such as the Disability Care Center) at the first stage of the program process. Attorneys and advocates have in coping with the SSA expertise and understand what exactly what the SSA appears throughout the application form procedure. Should you would like assistance in filling out an application for Social Security Disability benefits, contact the Disability Care Center for help at (888)-504-0035.