According to the Social Security Administration’s April 2022 report, most social security beneficiaries are aged 65 and older. There are over 52,032 claimants in this age group. In contrast, there is a total of 12,383 beneficiaries with disabilities under the age of 65. This discrepancy is partly due to social security benefits not being available to those who have not yet reached retirement age.
However, it is also because older Americans are more likely to experience disabilities that prevent them from working. As a result, social security plays an essential role in ensuring that older Americans can maintain their standard of living. Social security benefits can be claimed by anyone who meets the eligibility requirements. These requirements vary depending on the type of benefit that is being claimed.
The social security program is complex. It can be overwhelming to try to read through it all. Contacting your local social security office and asking for help is an excellent place to start. You can also get help from a financial advisor or accountant specializing in social security. They will help you understand the program and determine which benefits you are eligible for.
What to ask about social security?
Aside from eligibility, the advantages of social security, and the application process, you might want to ask about what happens or what to do if you become disabled and are unable to work or retire early. If you have children, what are dependent benefits? You might also want to find out what happens if you die before collecting all the benefits you’re entitled to.
Moreover, you should also ask about the taxation of social security benefits, how cost-of-living adjustments are calculated, and when you can expect to receive payments. If you’re still employed, you might want to know how social security will affect your other retirement savings and benefits plans. It’s also a good idea to ask about any recent changes or proposed changes to the social security program that could impact you.
These are a few crucial questions to ask. Hence, you know what to expect from social security and how to plan your finances accordingly. If you have more specific questions about your situation, you can contact the Social Security Administration directly.
Tips for maximizing your benefits
1. Plan and know your options: Start planning for your social security benefits as early as possible. The earlier you start, the more options you will have available because your benefit amount is based on your earnings history.
2. Know your rights and responsibilities: As a social security recipient, you have certain rights and responsibilities. For example, you have the right to appeal a decision made about your benefits, and you are responsible for reporting any changes in your circumstances that could affect your benefits.
3. Keep track of your work history: Make sure to keep track of your work history to receive the maximum benefits possible. The social security administration will need information such as your W-2 forms and your tax returns to determine your benefit amount. If you are married, it is also important to know your spouse’s work history because this can also affect your final benefit calculation.
4. Consider delaying benefits: If you can afford it, consider delaying benefits until you reach full retirement age, or even age 70 if you can wait. The date you retire will affect the total amount of your benefits by as much as 30%.
5. Consider your beneficiaries: When you’re ready to start receiving benefits, you’ll need to choose a beneficiary. This is the person who will receive your benefits if you die. Make sure to keep your beneficiary up-to-date in case something happens to you.
6. Review your benefits annually: Social security benefits are subject to COLAs, which means your benefits may go up or down depending on the inflation rate. Review your benefits annually to make sure you’re getting the most out of your social security.
What to do if your claims were denied?
If you receive a denial letter from the SSA, it can be confusing and overwhelming. The good news is that there are solutions available to you. You can appeal the decision if you think it was made in error. You can also ask for a reconsideration of the decision or file a complaint with the Social Security Administration. If all of those steps fail, you can hire a lawyer to represent you who will help you understand your rights and options in this process.
They can assist you in receiving the retirement, dependent, survivor, or disability benefits you were denied. Attorneys have years of experience representing claimants under the SSDI and SSI programs. They understand the rules, laws, and regulations imposed by the Social Security Administration, and they’re here to defend your rights. In case you are denied disability benefits, remember that time limits for disability appeals are short. Thus, seeking legal counsel as soon as possible is important to secure disability benefits. Appealing a decision can be a long and complicated process. Still, an attorney can help you navigate it successfully. If you think you’ve been wrongfully denied benefits, don’t hesitate to reach out for legal assistance.
With these points in mind, you will be on your way to a more secure financial future. Moreover, you can also avoid any stressful situations in the future. So, start asking questions and planning to make the most of your social security benefits.