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Social Security Q&A

Senior Wants to Know Why Social Security is So Interested in Our Marriage History When We Apply

Another senior needs to show proof of his income from SSA and wants to know if this is available online.

June 12, 2013 - Many options involving Social Security depend on your spouse and Oscar Garcia, public affairs specialist with the Social Security Administration, explains several of them to a senior who wants to know why there are so many questions about spousal history when we apply for benefits. He also tells another senior how to get proof of his benefit online.

Question:

Why does Social Security make it a point to ask about current and past marriages when a person applies for their own benefits?

Answer:

Social Security will look at all possibilities to make sure you receive the maximum benefit possible. This includes spousal benefits. Social Security can be an important financial asset for married couples when the time comes to apply for retirement benefits.

If you did work and pay into Social Security, we will check eligibility based on your work record and your spouse’s to see which amount is higher. You can apply for spouses benefits the same way that you apply for benefits on your own record.

 

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Social Security Q&A

Social Security Specialist Answers Questions About Benefits, Explains Latest Trustees Report

An interesting one today - do family members qualify on your record for Social Security benefits only when you die? - June 7, 2013

How to Fix a Hole in Social Security Work History; Must You Buy Medicare Part A Hospital Insurance?

As more open ‘my Social Security’ accounts there are certain to be more questions for SSA to answer in this weekly Q&A - May 29, 2013

Should You Take Social Security Retirement Early? Here's Answer From IRS Specialist

Q&A also looks at what happens if you take early retirement and then earn more income than is allowed - May 20, 2013

Senior Citizens Warned of Fake Emails Urging Enrollment in ‘my Social Security’

Popular new personal online accounts available at Social Security now attracting crooks to try ‘phishing’ - May 14, 2013


Read more Social Security News

also check Medicare and Senior Politics

 

You can apply for reduced benefits as early as age 62, or for 100 percent of your full retirement benefits at your full retirement age.  The benefit amount you can receive as a spouse, if you have reached your full retirement age, can be as much as one- half of your spouse’s full benefit. If you opt for early retirement, your benefit may be as little as a third of your spouse’s full benefit amount.

If your spouse has already reached full retirement age but continues to work, your spouse can apply for retirement benefits and request to have the payments suspended until as late as age 70. This would allow the worker to earn delayed retirement credits that will mean higher payments later, but would allow you to receive your spouse’s benefit.

You can also apply for spouse benefits based on the earnings record of an ex-spouse or deceased spouse if you were married for at least 10 years. Spouses can consider a number of options and variables. We make it easier to navigate them. A good place to start is by visiting our benefits planner at http://www.socialsecurity.gov/planners. Take note of the “Benefits As A Spouse” section.

Question:

I need proof of my Social Security income. Can I get verification online?

Answer:

Yes, and the best way to get a benefit verification letter is by using a “my Social Security” account. Your personal “my Social Security” account is a convenient and secure way for you to check your benefit and payment information, change your address, phone number, and direct deposit information, and to get your benefit verification letter.

You can use your benefit verification letter to verify your income, retirement or disability status, Medicare eligibility, and age. When you use “my Social Security” to get it, you can request which information you would like included in the letter. Learn more, use “my Social Security”, and get your benefit verification letter now at www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount.

Our offices experience unusually high visitors during the summer, so going online for your benefit verification letter can save you time over a trip to the local Social Security office.  

Oscar Garcia is a Public Affairs Specialist with the Social Security Administration. You can direct your questions to him at: SSA, 411 Richland Hills Drive, San Antonio, Texas, 78245. You can also email him at Oscar.h.garcia@ssa.gov.

 

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