Managing Multiple Social Security Benefits
Many people are confused about Social Security benefits, and for good reason. There are several types of benefits you can receive, and you may be eligible to receive one or more of them. In addition, you may be able to receive benefits from a spouse’s work record, increasing your monthly amount even more.
It is important to know how to manage your benefits if you ever become disabled or hit retirement age. After all, this monthly benefit amount may be a huge source of income for your family—in many cases, it may even be your sole source of income.
There are four main types of benefits provided by the Social Security Administration (SSA). Read on to see if you are eligible for any of them.
Disability benefits are available through two different programs: Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program and the Social Security Disability Insurance program (SSDI). SSI benefits are based on income and assets. SSDI benefits, on the other hand, have no financial limitations. However, a person must earn them through work credits. A person can receive disability benefits at any age, as long as they meet the definition of disability, which is very strict.
Retirement benefits help replace your income when you decide to quit working. You can receive benefits starting at age 62, although you will receive more if you delay retirement until age 70.
If you are currently married and at least age 62, you can claim benefits from your spouse’s work record. Even if you are divorced, you may be able to claim your ex-spouse’s benefits, as long as you were married for at least 10 years. You must wait at least two years after the divorce, however. Even if your ex-spouse is still working, you can claim benefits.
If your spouse is deceased, you can claim benefits from his or her work record. Children can claim these benefits as well. Widows or widowers must be at least age 60, unless they are caring for a child under the age of 16. Then there is no age restriction. A widow or widower can claim benefits starting at age 50 if they are disabled.
The way the SSA calculates your benefits is a little complex. First, they adjust your wages for each year you have worked. Then they add up your benefits for the 35 years in which they are the highest. This number is then divided by 420, which is the number of months in 35 years.
This is called your Average Indexed Monthly Earnings (AIME). It is used to determine your Primary Insurance Amount (PIA), which is the monthly benefit amount you will receive at full retirement age. Your full retirement age is between the ages of 65 and 67, depending on the year you were born.
Learn More About Social Security Disability Benefits
There are several types of Social Security benefits you may qualify for. You can receive disability and retirement benefits, as well as benefits from a current or former spouse.
Make sure you receive the most money possible. White Plains Social Security disability lawyer Michael Lawrence Varon can help you maximize your benefits. Schedule a free consultation by calling 914-294-2145.