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When a person is planning for retirement, they may start to think about their social security eligibility. There is an application process that must be completed when requesting to collect on social security benefits. It is important that people understand the inner workings of social security. Many may believe social security is just a personal money bank they have been paying into and will get back once they decide to retire. This is unfortunately not a correct assumption, as social security benefits are much more complicated than that.
Here are some of the most common questions people may have about social security, when trying to decide if it is time to apply:
What do I need to know about social security?
People often have the wrong idea what social security is all about. The overall intention is for working people to pay a portion of their taxes to help those who currently need assistance, including retirees or those with disabilities. These financial contributions are deposited into a government account. When a person becomes of retirement age, they can then apply to collect on these same benefits which are paid in small allotments for the rest of his or her life.
How do I apply for social security benefits?
You can submit your application for social security benefits online, by phone or in person at your local social security administration office. You will need to have your W-2 forms for the previous year, a copy of your original birth certificate, and perhaps other documentation about who you are. It can benefit you to consult with an attorney about your social security application. A seasoned attorney that understands how social security works, can offer advice and insight as you complete the paperwork. Your attorney can also make suggestions as you go, to help increase your chances of an application approval.
Does social security help my spouse too?
If your spouse has also worked long enough and is of age to apply for social security, then you both may be able to collect full benefits. If your spouse had never worked or earned a significantly smaller amount than you, he or she is probably going to have social security payments increased to half your benefit amount. If a spouse passes away and the surviving spouse is of retirement age, he or she is entitled to receiving 100% of the partner’s benefits. A spouse that is under retirement age, may receive prorated amounts as means of support.
How do I know how much I will get in social security?
Social security benefits are calculated based on how much a person has made in his or her lifetime. A formula is used that factors in the average earnings for your top thirty five years. Those who are worried that they will not be approved or want protection knowing what they are awarded is accurate, can meet with a social security disability lawyer in Grundy, VA to oversee that the process is going as it should.
Thanks to The Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt for their insight into social security law and commonly asked questions.