Tips For Navigating Social Security
- A financial advisor can help you account for the various sources of retirement income, including Social Security benefits. Finding a qualified financial advisor doesnt have to be hard. SmartAssets free tool matches you with up to three financial advisors in your area, and you can interview your advisor matches at no cost to decide which one is right for you. If youre ready to find an advisor who can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.
- If youre applying for Social Security disability benefits, youll need to fill out form SSA-827. This provides your consent for the SSA and Disability Determination Services to view your medical records.
- Dealing with a disability, either temporary or permanent, is hard enough without considering the financial impact. Having an emergency fund in place for unpredictable things like this can be a huge relief.
Survivor Benefits Under The Military And Social Security
What about the survivor of a military retiree? Once a retiree passes away, his or her military retirement pay stops. These benefits are not continued for a surviving spouse or dependent after death. This is where the militarys Survivor Benefit Plan can come into play.
The SBP allows a retiree to pass his or her military service benefits onto his or her surviving dependents after death in the form of an annuity. This coverage is optional and can be purchased upon retiring.
However, the survivor benefits paid under a military SBP could be affected by the survivor benefits provided under Social Security. When a disability recipient passes away, certain surviving dependents may be eligible to receive these these benefits. The amount paid is dependent on the deceased persons employment history and the amount paid into Social Security via payroll taxes.
What Is A Social Security Card
Your Social Security card is an important piece of identification. You’ll need one to get a job, collect Social Security, or receive other government benefits.
When you apply for a Social Security number , the Social Security Administration will assign you a nine-digit number. This is the same number that is printed on the Social Security card that SSA will issue you. If you change your name, you will need to get a corrected card.
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How A Lawyer With Our Firm Can Help You Apply For Disability Benefits
An attorney from our firm can offer assistance as you prepare an application for Social Security disability benefits. We can help you determine whether you have enough work credits for SSDI or should apply for SSI benefits. The law does not require you to work with a lawyer on the application and evaluation process for disability benefits, but having someone guide you can make the process go smoother.
Every year, thousands of qualifying individuals are denied Social Security Disability benefits because of errors they made on their applications. Many people have to appeal a denial of benefits to get the assistance they need. Our team can help you avoid this costly mistake or represent you during your appeal if you have already received a denial.
Can Ireceive Military Retirement Pay And Va Benefits
Up until2004 it was illegal to receive military retirement pay and VA disability pay atthe same time. Retired military had to decide whether they wanted to receive VAdisability pay or their retirement pay. And if they did choose toe receivetheir VA disability pay the money, they received was deducted from theirmilitary retirement pay.
However, thelaw has since changed. And there are two major changes you should know aboutbecause you may be able to receive your full military retirement pay along withyour VA disability pay. These laws are as follows:
- ConcurrentRetirement Disability Pay which applies retired military who have acombined VA disability rating of 50% or higher.
- CombatRelated Special Compensation which applies to retire military who have aservice-connected disability rating of at least 10%, which comes from acombat-related incident.
It ispossible to qualify for both of these programs, but you can only receivecompensation from one of them. Youll have the choice of which program you wantto receive benefits from, and you can change which one to receive benefits fromif your situation changes.
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If You’re Not Sure Why You Received A Payment
If you receive a check or direct deposit payment from the Treasury Department and do not know what its for, contact the regional financial center that issued it.
If you received a check, look for the RFCs city and state at the top center. Then contact that RFC to find out which federal agency authorized the payment. It will be one of these:
If you received payment byelectronic funds transfer , or direct deposit, follow the directions under Find Information About a Payment.
Use the Treasury Check Verification System to verify that the check is legitimate and issued by the government.
Can You Collect Both Social Security Retirement And Disability
Americans receiving social security disability often wonder how their social security disability benefits will impact their social security retirement benefits . To answer this important question, it may be helpful to think of how the social security disability benefits program started and what problems it was designed to address.
Disability insurance was not a part of the original Social Security Act of 1935 which created the social security retirement system as we know it today. Indeed, social security retirement and disability benefits are very separate concepts: the former being an entitlement for the elderly, and the latter being a benefit for those who cannot work due to physical or mental condition. In considering the connection between these two social programs, we should consider the first step in providing disability benefits under the Social Security Act the disability freeze.
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When Does Social Security Pay More Than Disability
The reverse of the above situation is if you are between your FRA and age 70. After you reach your FRA, your Social Security benefit amount increases by 0.8% for every month you hold off on electing. This continues until you reach 70, at which point your benefit reaches its maximum. In this situation, your monthly Social Security benefit would be larger than your monthly disability benefit.
When Are You Insured For The Ssdi Program
Most workers pay Social Security taxes on their wages or self-employment income. Older workers who accumulate 40 quarters of work credits are “fully insured” for Social Security retirement or disability benefits. But 50-year-olds need only have 7 years of work credits to get insured.
However, you have to be “currently insured” as well. You must have worked at least 5 of the last 10 years to stay insured. SSA calls your “date last insured” your “DLI.”
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Can I Increase My Benefits When I Reach Retirement Age
It is possible to increase your benefits when you reach retirement age by suspending benefits for a time, but you need to weigh your options and evaluate your personal situation before you do so. All recipients of Social Security Retirement benefits have the option to suspend benefits up to age 70. For every month you suspend your benefits, you could earn 2/3 of 1%, up to 8% per year of suspended benefits. To put it simply, if you suspend benefits when you reach FRA, you can receive a larger benefit later. If your spouse is receiving benefits based on your record, then he/she will also have benefits suspended but will also be able to collect more when they resume.
You must weigh a number of factors to determine if this is the right tactic for you. Do you believe you will live long enough to make the delay worthwhile? Do you have enough to live on if you suspend benefits now? Do you have dependent children?
Another way your benefits may increase is if you are receiving workers compensation while collecting SSDI. You likely did not pay taxes on those Workers Comp benefits and those additional benefits may have reduced your SSDI payment. The good news is, when you reach full retirement age, this reduction ends, so your Social Security benefit would increase.
Disabled Before Early Retirement Benefits Start
If you drew less than a full monthly retirement benefit for some period of time, and then were approved for disability benefits, Social Security can make up the difference between the early retirement amount and the full disability amount for those months you were disabled but receiving early retirement benefits retroactively.
For example, say you quit work due to health problems, started to collect early retirement benefits for a time, and then applied for and got approved for disability benefits. If your disability started before you began collecting early retirement, Social Security would pay you the difference between your disability payment and your early retirement payment for the months that you received early retirement payments.
In addition, when you reach full retirement age, you would get your full retirement benefit, as if you had never opted to collect early retirement payments.
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How Long Do You Receive Disability Benefits
You’ll receive Social Security benefits as long as you remain sufficiently disabled. This means as long as your disability prevents you from working, you are eligible to continue receiving Social Security disability benefits.
The SSA will conduct periodic reviews of your case to determine whether you are still eligible for disability benefits. These reviews are called continuing disability reviews and they generally happen every few years, although the time period in between reviews depends on the severity of your condition and the likelihood that your impairment will improve. should state when to expect your first review.) You must report changes in your condition to the SSA, even if those changes would result in the cessation of your disability benefits. To learn more about these reviews, see What Is a Continuing Disability Review?
How Does The United States Compare With Other Countries
According to a recent analysis by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, or OECD, the United States has the least generous disability-benefit system of all OECD member countries except Korea. The OECD describes the U.S. disability-benefit system, along with those of Korea, Japan, and Canada, as having the most stringent eligibility criteria for a full disability benefit, including the most rigid reference to all jobs available in the labor market and the shortest sickness benefit payment duration. In addition, the United States spends less as a share of its economy on incapacity-related benefits than other nations. In 2009 public expenditures on incapacity-related benefits comprised just 1.5 percent of U.S. gross domestic product, or GDP, compared to an average of 2.4 percent for all OECD nations.
Proponents of cutting disability benefits in the United States sometimes point to particular elements of disability program reforms in Europeparticularly in Germany, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdomas potential models for changes to the Social Security disability programs. In general, however, such proposals fail to take into account that these nations have much more generous disability systems, less rigorous disability standards, higher levels of social expendituresnot just on incapacity benefits but on social assistance generallyand more regulated labor markets than the United States.
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Lost Or Stolen Federal Payments
Report your lost, missing, or stolen federal check to the agency that issued the payment. It’s usually one of these paying agencies. If your documentation indicates it’s a different agency, and you need its contact information, look in the A-Z Index of U.S. Government Departments and Agencies.
To get an update on your claim, contact the Treasury Department Philadelphia Financial Center at 1-855-868-0151, option 1.
Whats The Difference Between Disability And Retirement
First up, lets talk about the difference between disability and retirement benefits. Both are administered by the Social Security Administration , and both are programs designed to provide financial assistance to Americans who can no longer work. Both programs also have specific requirements beneficiaries must meet in order to qualify for benefits.
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Social Security Disability For Military Retirees
In addition to Social Security benefits for military retirees, the Social Security Administration also provides disabled veterans disability. You may be able to qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance provided that you meet the SSAs definition of fully disabled.
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs offers disability to some veterans without having to be fully disabled to be eligible for benefits. A disability rating will be issued, which can be as low as 10 percent.
Fortunately, you may qualify for SSDI regardless of how much you receive from the VA, the military for your disability, or retirement. Receiving one stream of income does not influence whether you are approved for another, nor does it reduce the amount of compensation you can receive.
Retirement And Social Security Disability
Clients often ask whether they can receive social security disability benefits and retirement benefits. The quick answer is no. Once you reach full retirement age between ages 66 and 67, depending on the year you were born the Social Security Administration converts an individual SSDI benefits to regular retirement benefits. An exception applies for individuals who opt for early retirement, thought it comes with an important caveat, which well discuss below.
However, whether you can receive retirement and SSDI benefits depends on what you mean by retirement. For SSDI purposes, retirement means benefits paid through the SSA. Yet Social Security retirement benefits are not always the only benefit people receive when they retire. Pensions or 401 plans through an employer also pay benefits at retirement. While many people generically refer to each of these as retirement benefits, for purposes of receiving both SSDI and retirement benefits, they are very different.
The longer answer, then, is that you cannot receive SSDI and retirement benefits from the SSA. You may, however, be able to receive SSDI and benefits through a pension or 401.
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Can I Qualify For Ssdi If I Have Another Source Of Benefits
Social Security Benefits such as SSDI can be reduced if you become eligible for other benefits programs such as workers’ compensation, or even certain federal, state, and local government aid programs. However, the total combined payments after such a reduction should never be less than the original amount of the SSDI payment, so a person’s net payments should remain the same.
If you are receiving workers’ compensation or another federal disability benefit, you payments cannot equal more than 80% of your SSDI benefits. If you receive more, your SSDI benefits could be in jeopardy.
Is There Amaximum Income I Can Receive From Employment
Yes, themaximum amount of money you can receive from employment or otherself-employment project is $1170 for 2017. As long as your income fromemployment is under this amount you still will qualify for benefits from theSSA. For the most part if you have serious disabilities you wont work enoughto hit the $1170 limit.
There isanother disability program called Supplemental Security Income , but it isincome based. This program also includes unearned income when calculating yourqualifications. The SSI has a really low limit. It is very unlikely that youwould be able to receive benefits from military retirement, VA benefits, andSSI all at the same time.
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Can You Get Social Security Disability Insurance And Long Term Disability At The Same Time
Yes, its possible. If you qualify for Social Security disability benefits, your benefit amount will not be reduced if you are also receiving individual LTD benefits. However, the opposite does not always hold true: some private long-term disability policies will reduce the benefit amount once a policyholder starts receiving SSDI benefits. It all depends on the specific terms and conditions of your long-term disability policy.
Brief History Of Social Security
The Social Security program was created by the Social Security Act that President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed into law in 1935. The first checks went out in 1940. Originally it paid benefits only to workers 65 and older, but in the 1970s the government altered it to allow workers to claim benefits as early as 62. It also instituted annual cost-of-living adjustments to help Social Security keep pace with inflation.
The program has worked fairly well so far, but many people fear for the future, when there will be fewer workers to support a greater number of Social Security recipients. The latest Social Security Trustees’ Report indicates the program’s trust funds would be depleted by 2034, after which it would be able to pay out only about 76% of benefits to retirees and about 92% to disabled workers.
The government has proposed several possible solutions for ensuring the long-term sustainability of the program, but at present no plans have been set. There’s no risk of the program disappearing in the next decade or two, but it’s possible future benefits may not go as far as they do today. That’s why today’s workers need to prioritize their personal retirement savings, so they can cover most of their expenses on their own.
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Is It Better To Retire Early Or Go On Disability
If you are approaching early retirement age and also have become disabled, you may be unsure whether you should take an early retirement or apply for disability until you reach full retirement age.
On the one hand, if you already know you have enough work credits to retire, the processing of starting your retirement benefits will be a lot easier than going through the laborious process of applying for disability.
On the other hand, you may not want to sacrifice the extra monthly benefits you could get if you waited until full retirement or age 70 to begin collecting benefits. If youre not too concerned about your financial stability, opting for early retirement might not seem like a big deal, especially if you have a pension through your employer or other types of retirement accounts like an IRA or 401K.
However, if youre like many Americans, you may need all the help you can get from the Social Security Administration. In this case, its most likely better to get approved for disability benefits rather than take an early retirement and lose out on your hard-earned benefits. While it can be true that getting approved for SSDI can take time, effort, and patience, disability benefits can offer you a kind of flexibility that retirement cantespecially if theres a chance of your disability improving.