Social Security Online

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Social Security Online

  1. 1. Social Securitywww.socialsecurity.gov
  2. 2. What You Need To Know When You GetRetirement Or Survivors Benefits 2
  3. 3. About Your Benefits 3
  4. 4. When and how your benefits are paidSocial Security benefits are paid each month in the monthfollowing the month for which they are due; forexample, you would receive your July benefit in August.Generally, the day of the month you receive your benefitpayment depends on the birth date of the person onwhose earnings record you receive benefits. Forexample, if you get benefits as a retired worker, yourbenefit will be determined by your birth date. 4
  5. 5. When and how your benefits are paid If you receive benefits based on your spouse’s work, your benefit payment date will be determined by your spouse’s birth date. Date of birth Benefits paid each month on 1st - 10th Second Wednesday 11th - 20th Third Wednesday 21st - 31st Fourth Wednesday If you receive both Social Security and SSI benefits, your Social Security payment will arrive on the third of the month and your SSI payment will arrive on the first of the month. 5
  6. 6. Electronic PaymentsWhen you applied for Social Security benefits, you shouldhave signed up to receive your payments electronically. Ifyou did not sign up for electronic payments when youapplied for benefits, we strongly urge you to do it now.You must switch to electronic payments by March1, 2013. If you don’t, the U.S. Treasury Department maysend your benefits via the Direct Express® card programto avoid an interruption in payment. 6
  7. 7. Electronic PaymentsDirect deposit is a simple, safe and secure way to receiveyour benefits.Another option is the Direct Express® card program.With Direct Express®, deposits from federal paymentsare made directly to the card account. It’s quick and easyto sign up for the card.A third option is an Electronic Transfer Account. Thislow-cost federally insured account lets you enjoy thesafety, security, and convenience of automatic payments. 7
  8. 8. If You Get Your Benefits By MailTo be safe, you should cash or deposit your check soonafter you receive it.You should not sign your check until you are at the placewhere you will cash it.If you sign the check ahead of time and lose it, the personwho finds it could cash it. 8
  9. 9. If Your Payment Is Late Or MissingIf you do not receive your electronic payment on its duedate, call us immediately at our toll-free number, 1-800-772-1213.If your check is not delivered on its due date, wait threeworkdays before reporting the missing check to us.The most common reason checks are late is because achange of address was not reported. 9
  10. 10. Returning Benefits Not DueIf you receive an electronic payment that you know is notdue you, have your financial institution return it to theU.S. Treasury Department.If you receive a check that you know is not due you, takeit to any Social Security office or return it to the U.S.Treasury Department at the address on the checkenvelope.If you knowingly accept payments that are not dueyou, you may face criminal charges. 10
  11. 11. Paying Taxes On Your BenefitsAbout one-third of all people receiving Social Securitybenefits have to pay taxes on their benefits.You will have to pay taxes on your benefits if you file afederal tax return as an “individual,” and your totalincome is more than $25,000.If you file a joint return, you will have to pay taxes if youand your spouse have a total income that is more than$32,000.If you are married and file a separate return, youprobably will pay taxes on your benefits. 11
  12. 12. Paying Taxes On Your BenefitsTo have federal taxes withheld, you can get a Form W-4Vfrom the Internal Revenue Service by calling the toll-freetelephone number, 1-800-829-3676, or by visiting ourwebsite. After completing and signing the form, return itto your local Social Security office by mail or in person.For more information, call the Internal Revenue Service’stoll-free number, 1-800-829-3676 , to ask for Publication554, Tax Guide For Seniors, and Publication 915, SocialSecurity and Equivalent Railroad RetirementBenefits.Security and Equivalent Railroad RetirementBenefits. 12
  13. 13. Services We Offer 13
  14. 14. Free Social Security ServicesSome businesses advertise that they can provide namechanges or Social Security cards for a fee. These servicesare provided free by Social Security, so do not pay forsomething that is free. Call us or visit our website first.Social Security is the best place to get information aboutSocial Security. 14
  15. 15. Information UpdatesEvery so often, we will send you important informationabout your Social Security benefits, such as: Cost-of-living adjustmentsIf the cost of living has increased, in January, yourbenefits will increase automatically. If you receive yourbenefits by direct deposit, we will notify you of your newamount in advance. If you receive your benefits bycheck, we will include a notice explaining the cost-of-living adjustment with your check. 15
  16. 16. Information UpdatesEvery so often, we will send you important informationabout your Social Security benefits, such as: Annual earnings limitIf you are younger than full retirement age, there is alimit to how much you can earn and still receive all yourSocial Security benefits. This amount usually increaseseach year. We will notify you of the new amount inadvance. For more information, including the year 2012limits, see “How Earnings Affect Your Benefits.” 16
  17. 17. How We Will Contact YouWe generally mail you a letter or notice when we want tocontact you, but sometimes a Social Securityrepresentative may come to your home.And remember, Social Security employees will never askyou for money to have something done. 17
  18. 18. Your ResponsibilitiesYou can call, write, or visit us to make a report. Haveyour claim number handy. If you receive benefits basedon your work, your claim number is the same as yourSocial Security number. If you receive benefits onsomeone else’s work record, your claim number will beshown on any letter we send you about your benefits.Information you give to another government agency maybe provided to Social Security by the other agency, butyou also must report the change to us. 18
  19. 19. If Your Estimated Earnings ChangeIf you are working, we usually ask you to estimate yourearnings for the year.If later you realize your earnings will be higher or lowerthan you estimated, let us know as soon as possible so wecan adjust your benefits. 19
  20. 20. If You MoveWhen you plan to move, tell us your new address andphone number as soon as you know them. Even if youreceive your benefits by direct deposit, Social Securitymust have your correct address so we can send lettersand other important information to you.If any family members who are getting benefits aremoving with you, please tell us their names. Be sure youalso file a change of address with your post office. 20
  21. 21. If You Change Direct Deposit AccountsIf you change financial institutions or open a newaccount, you can change your direct deposit online if youhave a personal identification number and a password.Or, we can change your direct deposit information overthe telephone after we verify your identity. Have yournew and old bank account numbers handy when you callus. 21
  22. 22. If A Person Is Not Able To Manage Funds Sometimes a person is unable to manage his or her own money. If this happens, someone should let us know. We can arrange to send benefits to a relative, or other person, or organization that agrees to use the money for the well-being of the person getting benefits. We call this person or organization a “representative payee.” NOTE: People who have “legal guardianship” or “power of attorney” for someone do not automatically qualify to be a representative payee. 22
  23. 23. If You Get A Pension From Non-Covered WorkIf you start receiving a pension from a job for which youdid not pay Social Security taxes—for example, from thefederal Civil Service Retirement System or some state orlocal pension systems—your Social Security benefits mayneed to be recalculated, and they may be reduced.Also, tell us if the amount of your pension changes. 23
  24. 24. If You Get Married Or DivorcedIf you get married or divorced, your Social Securitybenefits may be affected, depending on the kind ofbenefits you receive.If your benefits are stopped because of marriage orremarriage, they may be started again if the marriageends. 24
  25. 25. If You Get Married Or DivorcedThe chart below includes examples:If you get: Then:Your own retirement benefits Your benefits will continue Your benefits will continue if you getSpouses benefits divorced and you are age 62 or older unless you were married less than 10 years. Your benefits will continue if youWidows or widowers benefits remarry when you are age 60 or older. Generally, your benefits will stopAny other kind of benefits when you get married. Your benefits may be started again if the marriage ends. 25
  26. 26. If You Change Your NameIf you change your name—by marriage, divorce or courtorder—you need to tell us right away.If you do not give us this information, your benefits willbe issued under your old name and, if you have directdeposit, payments may not reach your account.If you receive checks, you may not be able to cash them ifyour identification is different than the name on yourcheck. 26
  27. 27. If You Get Benefits Because You Are Caring For A ChildIf you receive benefits because you are caring for a childwho is younger than age 16 or disabled, you should notifyus right away if the child is no longer in your care orchanges address. 27
  28. 28. If You Get Benefits Because You Are Caring For A ChildYour benefits will end when the youngest unmarriedchild in your care reaches age 16 unless the child isdisabled. 28
  29. 29. If Someone Adopts A Child Who Is Receiving BenefitsWhen a child who is receiving benefits is adopted, let usknow the child’s new name, the date of the adoptiondecree, and the adopting parent’s name and address. Theadoption will not cause benefits to end. 29
  30. 30. If You Become A Parent After You Begin To Receive BenefitsIf you become the parent of a child (including an adoptedchild) after you begin receiving benefits, let us know sowe can decide whether the child is eligible for benefits. 30
  31. 31. If A Beneficiary DiesLet us know if a person receiving Social Security benefitsdies. Benefits are not payable for the month of death.That means if the person died any time in July, forexample, the check received in August (which is paymentfor July) must be returned.If direct deposit is used, also notify the financialinstitution of the death as soon as possible so it can returnany payments received after death. 31
  32. 32. Working And Getting SocialSecurity At The Same Time 32
  33. 33. How Earnings Affect Your BenefitsYou can continue to work and still get Social Securityretirement benefits. Your earnings in (and after) themonth you reach your full retirement age will not affectyour Social Security benefits.However, your benefits will be reduced if your earningsexceed certain limits for the months before you reachyour full retirement age. 33
  34. 34. How Earnings Affect Your BenefitsIf you are younger than full retirement age, $1 in benefitswill be deducted for each $2 in earnings you have abovethe annual limit ($14,640 in 2012).In the year you reach your full retirement age, yourbenefits will be reduced $1 for every $3 you earn over adifferent limit ($38,880 in 2012) until the month youreach full retirement age.Then you get your full Social Security benefitpayments, no matter how much you earn. 34
  35. 35. How Earnings Affect Your BenefitsIf you are younger than full retirement age and some ofyour benefits are withheld because your earnings aremore than $14,640, there is some good news. When youreach full retirement age, your benefits will be increasedto take into account those months in which you receivedno benefit or reduced benefits. 35
  36. 36. A Special Monthly RuleSometimes people who retire in mid-year already haveearned more than the yearly earnings limit. That is whythere is a special monthly rule that applies to earnings forone year, usually the first year of retirement.Under this rule, you can get full Social Security benefitsfor any whole month you earn under a certainlimit, regardless of your yearly earnings. 36
  37. 37. A Special Monthly RuleIn 2012, a person younger than full retirement age (age66 for people born in 1943-1954) is considered retired ifmonthly earnings are $1,220 or less.For example, John Smith retires at age 62 on August30, 2012. He will make $45,000 through August. He takesa part-time job beginning in September, earning $500 permonth.Although his earnings for the year substantially exceedthe 2012 limit ($14,640), he will receive a Social Securitypayment for September through December. This isbecause his earnings in those months are less than $1,220. 37
  38. 38. Other Important Information 38
  39. 39. Retirement Benefits For Widows Or WidowersYou can switch to retirement benefits based on your ownwork if they are higher than those you receive as a resultof your deceased spouse’s work.These benefits may be higher as early as age 62 orpossibly as late as age 70. The rules are complex and varydepending on your situation. 39
  40. 40. Benefits For ChildrenWhen a child reaches age 18A child’s benefits stop with the month before the child reachesage 18, unless the child is either disabled or is a full-timeelementary or secondary school student.A child whose benefits stopped at age 18 can have them startedagain if he or she becomes disabled before reaching age 22 orbecomes a full-time elementary or secondary school studentbefore reaching age 19. 40
  41. 41. Benefits For ChildrenIf a child age 18 is a studentA child can receive benefits until age 19 if he or she continues to be afull-time elementary or secondary school student.Social Security should be notified immediately if the student dropsout of school, changes from full-time to part-time attendance, isexpelled or suspended, or changes schools.We also should be told if the student is paid by his or her employerfor attending school. 41
  42. 42. Benefits For ChildrenIf a child age 18 is a studentWe send each student a form at the start and end of the school year.It is important that the form is filled out and returned to us. Benefitscould be stopped if we do not receive the form. 42
  43. 43. Benefits For ChildrenHow divorce affects a stepchilds benefitsIf a stepchild is receiving benefits based on your workand you and the child’s parent divorce, the stepchild’sbenefit will end the month after the divorce becomesfinal. You must tell us as soon as the divorce becomesfinal. 43
  44. 44. Protection Of Your Personal Information You should keep your Social Security card in a safe place with your other important papers. Do not carry it with you unless you need to show it to an employer or service provider. Social Security keeps personal and confidential information—names, Social Security numbers, earnings records, ages and beneficiary addresses—for millions of people. Generally, we will discuss your information only with you. 44
  45. 45. Medicare Has Four PartsHospital insurance (Part A) helps pay for inpatient hospitalcare and certain follow-up services.Medical insurance (Part B) helps pay for doctors’services, outpatient hospital care and other medical services.Medicare Advantage plans (Part C) are available in manyareas. People with Medicare Parts A and B can choose toreceive all of their health care services through a providerorganization under Part C.Prescription drug coverage (Part D) helps pay for medicationsdoctors prescribe for medical treatment. 45
  46. 46. Help With Medicare Expenses For People With Low Income If you have a low income and few resources, your state may pay your Medicare premiums and, in some cases, other “out-of-pocket” medical expenses, such as deductibles and coinsurance. Only your state can decide whether you qualify for help under this program. If you think you qualify, contact your state or local medical assistance (Medicaid) agency, social services or welfare office. 46
  47. 47. “Extra Help” With Medicare Prescription CostsIf you have limited income and resources, you mayqualify for extra help to pay for your prescription drugsunder Medicare Part D.Social Security’s role is to help you understand how youmay qualify and to process your application for extrahelp. To see if you qualify or to apply, call SocialSecurity’s toll-free number or visit our website. 47
  48. 48. Contacting Social Security 48
  49. 49. Contacting Social SecurityOur website is a valuable resource for information aboutall of Social Security’s programs. There are a number ofthings you can do online.In addition to using our website, you can call us toll-freeat 800-772-1213. We treat all calls confidentially. We cananswer specific questions from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Mondaythrough Friday. 49
  50. 50. Social Security’s Online ServicesOnline Services for before or after you receive benefits Retirement Estimator Retirement & Disability Applications Medicare Online Apply for Extra Help With Medicare Drug Plan Costs Retirement/Survivors/Disability Planner Change of Address Medicare Card Replacements Request a Benefit Verification Letter Start or Change Direct Deposit www.socialsecurity.gov 50

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