Tag: social security benefits

What Are Social Security Benefits for Retirees?

What Are Social Security Benefits for Retirees?

Social Security benefits for elderly
Want to know more Social Security benefits for elderly people? Contact SSDA USA!

If you are approaching retirement age, chances are, you have a ton of questions about your retirement. What is social security? How much will I get? How do I qualify for social security?

The bottom line is this:

Social Security benefits for retirees involve a lot of rules, sure. But that doesn’t mean they have to be complicated. So let us from Social Security Disability Advocates USA break it down for you in an easy to understand way.


Social Security retirement benefits are social security benefits for elderly people who have earned a certain number of work credits. You can obtain a maximum of 4 work credits per year. In 2019, you earn one work credit for each $1,360 of earnings. Before you can collect your retirement benefits, you will need 40 work credits. This essentially means that you need a minimum of 10 years of work before retirement benefits can be collected.

You cannot collect retirement benefits until you reach age 62. However, your benefits will suffer substantially. Waiting until your full retirement age (anywhere from 65-67) will result in higher benefits for you.

Your retirement benefits are also based on your lifetime earnings. Therefore, greater earnings mean greater benefits. This also means that years you do not work could negatively impact your Social Security – working steadily is often more favorable than taking gaps in work.

Your 35 highest-earning years are adjusted for inflation and divided by 420 (the number of months in 35 years) to get your Average Indexed Monthly Earnings (AIME). Then, the Social Security Administration (SSA) applies a formula to this amount to get your Primary Insurance Amount (PIA). This is the amount of retirement benefits you will receive each month.

Delayed Retirement

Even though you could start receiving benefits at age 62, it is best to wait until your full retirement age. Even better is waiting until you are beyond your full retirement age. This is because delayed retirement means that your benefits amount steadily increases until you decide to take benefits or until you reach age 70, at which point your benefits amount will stop increasing, no matter how much longer you delay.

For example, for people born in 1943 or later, delaying benefits beyond full retirement age will yield a permanent 8% annual increase in benefits. Each year beyond full retirement age until age 70 will increase retirement benefits by 8%.

No matter what though, always apply for Medicare at age 65! In many cases, Medicare costs more if you delay applying for it, and you don’t have to apply for retirement benefits just because you apply for Medicare.

Family Benefits

There are certain circumstances that allow family members to receive benefits from your retirement, as well. For example, 1) spouses older than age 62, 2) spouses younger than age 62 if they are taking care of your child that is younger than age 16 or suffers from disability, 3) former spouses age 62 or older, 4) children up to age 18, age 19 if still in school, and 5) children suffering from disability all may qualify for Social Security benefits.

Such circumstances are complex and difficult to explore on your own, so if you have any questions, call our knowledgeable attorneys at SSDA USA!

Questions on Social Security Benefits for Elderly People?

Contact Social Security Disability Advocates USA today! We are professionals who work tirelessly to address your every concern. Call us anytime at 602-952-3200. Additionally, you can contact us online and check out our LiveChat feature. Don’t let your questions bother you anymore. Call us today!

The information on this blog is for general information purposes only. Nothing herein should be taken as legal advice. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, a representative-client relationship.

The Basics of Social Security Disability

The Basics of Social Security Disability

SSDI basics
Want to Know More SSDI Basics? Contact SSDA USA today!

Social Security programs can be difficult to deal with. There are a multitude of programs that help a variety of different groups. So the question is, which groups do you fit into? Do you qualify for any social security programs? We know it’s confusing, so allow us from Social Security Disability Advocates USA break down the SSI and SSDI basics.

To begin, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) are two entirely different programs. Qualifying for one program does not necessarily mean you will qualify for the other. There are different standards that you must meet for both programs. Let’s go over the differences.

Social Security Disability Insurance

Social Security Disability Insurance is a program that the Social Security Administration (SSA) oversees and funds. SSDI provides assistance to disabled individuals and their families. You pay into this program when you work via FICA taxes. There are a variety of requirements that you must meet before you qualify for SSDI.

SSDI Prerequisites

  • Meet the Definition: You must meet the SSA’s definition of disabled. Partial or temporary disabilities do not qualify. You must have a disability that 1) prevents you from doing the work you did before, 2) has lasted or is expected to last for no less than one year, or is expected to result in death, and 3) prevents you from doing other types of work in addition to the work you did before you became disabled. This means that your disability must interfere with everyday activities, e.g. standing, walking, etc., to the point that you cannot make a living.
  • Documents: When you apply for SSDI, you must submit 1) your social security number, 2) your birth/baptismal certificate, 3) names, addresses, and phone numbers of doctors who took care of you, 4) names and the dosages of all medicines you take, 5) medical records and test results, 6) a summary of your work duties, and 7) a copy of your most recent W-2 form.

SSDI Basics

Once the SSA determines you meet their definition of disabled, they forward your case to the Disability Determination Services (DDS) office in your state. There, you must submit all medical records for review if you want to qualify for SSDI. Disability specialists will ask your doctors about your condition, when your medical condition began, how your medical condition limited your activities, information regarding test results, and what treatment you received. They will also ask your doctors a multitude of other questions that we cannot list here.

  • Work: One of the key requirements for SSDI is work. You must have worked enough and earned enough work credits to qualify for SSDI. Generally, 10 years is the minimum number of years you need to work. This is because you receive one work credit for every $1,320 in 2018, up to 4 a year. If you earn the maximum number of credits a year for ten years, you will have 40 work credits, which is generally the minimum amount. Younger people do not need as many work credits. The number of required work credits goes up with age. Working credits allow that you are “insured” under FICA regulations. In addition, your monthly SSDI benefits are based on how much you earned during your working years. Also, if you are working, you cannot earn above the Substantial Gains Activity (SGA) monthly limit. If you do earn above the SGA, you probably won’t qualify for SSDI.
  • Age: You must be younger than your full retirement age. If you reach your full retirement age (generally around age 65-67), your benefits will automatically convert to retirement benefits.

The Social Security Administration will send a letter to you after a decision has been made regarding your case. If you disagree with the ruling, you can appeal it. Keep in mind, applications for SSDI take approximately five months to look over, and an application to appeal a decision can take another five months to review.

Supplemental Security Income

Supplemental Security Income is another program that the SSA oversees. However, SSI aids only individuals with low income who are blind, suffer from disabilities, or are age 65 or older. There are other important differences to take note of.

SSI Requirements

  • Meet the Definition: To qualify for SSI, you must have limited income resources and be blind, disabled, or age 65 or older. In addition, you must reside in the United States or the Northern Mariana Islands, not be absent from the country for a full calendar month or more or for 30 consecutive days or more, and be either a U.S. citizen or national or a qualifying non-citizen.
  • Documents: You will still need to prove to the SSA and to your state’s DDS office that you are in fact disabled and qualify for benefits.
  • Work: Unlike SSDI, SSI is need-based, so work credits are not required. Because of this, though, your monthly benefit is not calculated based on your earnings. You may therefore receive less than you would if you had qualified for SSDI. Some individuals may qualify for both SSDI and SSI.
  • Age: The age range is more flexible, as you can receive SSI benefits even if you are 65 or older.

With the requirements out of the way, let’s go over some other basic characteristics.

Medicaid and Medicare

Generally, people who qualify for SSI immediately qualify for Medicaid, a joint federal-state healthcare program. Medicaid is a very comprehensive health care coverage program. People who qualify for SSDI, on the other hand, qualify for Medicare two years after they qualified for SSDI. Medicare is a health care insurance program that covers most hospital visits and most primary medical care. Medicare is generally not as comprehensive as Medicaid, as there are insurance “gaps” that can be filled by purchasing supplemental coverage plans. An individual may qualify for both Medicare and Medicaid, and they will both work to make doctor’s visits and hospital bills as little as possible.

Family Benefits

Individuals who qualify for SSI do not have their benefits extended to their family. However, people with SSDI may have family members who can qualify for benefits, too. If you have SSDI, your family may qualify for benefits if 1) Your spouse is age 62 or older, 2) Aforementioned spouse is caring for your child who is under age 16 or disabled, 3) Your unmarried child (or in some cases a grandchild or step-child) is under age 18, or under age 19 if still in school, 4) Your unmarried child who is 18 or older acquired a disability for age 22.

The total disability benefit for your family is approximately 150% – 180% of your monthly disability benefits. For example, if the monthly limit is 150% of your benefit and you have two children, each child would receive 25% of your monthly benefits. This is because you receive 100% of your monthly benefits, and each child receiving 25% makes up for the remaining 50% of the limit.

Have Questions About Social Security?

If you still have questions about the SSI or SSDI basics, contact Social Security Disability Advocates today! We are available 24/7, and we are happy to answer all your questions. Call us at 602-952-3200, or contact us online and check out our LiveChat feature.

The information on this blog is for general information purposes only. Nothing herein should be taken as legal advice. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, a representative-client relationship.

Do Your Children Qualify for Social Security Benefits?

Do Your Children Qualify for Social Security Benefits?

child social security benefits
Have questions about child social security benefits? Contact us today!

Social Security isn’t just for adults. Your children may be eligible for child social security benefits based on certain conditions. So, let us at Social Security Disability Advocates break down some of the basics for you.

Social Security Disability Insurance

If you become disabled and are eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), your child may be eligible for benefits, too. The Social Security Administration (SSA) considers biological children, adopted children, and dependent step-children to be children of a disabled individual. Generally, children must be younger than 18 years old. Your children must also have a valid birth certificate and social security number. Grandchildren and step-grandchildren may also qualify, but only if 1) their parents are no longer living, 2) they have lived with you for 12 months (or if under a year old, their whole lives), and 3) you provide at least half of their financial support.

The amount of SSDI benefits your children receive is dependent on how much you receive in SSDI benefits. The Social Security Administration puts a family limit of approximately 150% – 180% of your SSDI benefits. This means that if, for example, your family limit were 150% and you have two children, each child would receive 25% of your benefit. This is because you still receive 100% of your benefit, and both children receiving 25% make up the remaining 50%.

Your children will generally stop receiving benefits the month before they turn 18, unless they are still in high school. In that case, they will stop receiving benefits after they graduate or two months after they turn 19. If your child became disabled before age 22, they may continue receiving benefits indefinitely under some conditions.

Supplemental Security Income

Unlike SSDI, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) can be given only to individuals who make little to no income and are 65 or older, blind, or disabled. SSI benefits cannot do not apply to a child based on a parent’s disability status. However, if the child suffers from a disability and makes little to no income, they may be eligible for SSI. The amount of SSI given varies state to state, so visit your local Social Security office for more exact information regarding payment. For 2019, children must meet the following requirements to qualify under the disability definition, and therefore be eligible for SSI:

  •         A child who is not blind must not earn more than $1,220 a month. A child who is blind must not earn more than $2,040 a month (these earning change annually)
  •         The child must have a physical condition, mental condition, or a combined physical and mental condition that result in “marked and severe functional limitations.” In other words, the child’s disability must severely limit their activities.
  •         The child’s condition must have been disabling, or expected to be disabling for a minimum of 12 months, or the condition must be expected to result in death.

When applying for SSI for your child, you will need information such as school records, medical records, and other such documents that give information about your child’s disability.

Still Have Questions About Child Social Security Benefits?

Contact Social Security Disability Advocates today! We work hard for you, and we are always available to answer your questions. Give us a call anytime at 602-952-3200. If you prefer to contact us online, visit our website and check out our LiveChat feature.

The information on this blog is for general information purposes only. Nothing herein should be taken as legal advice. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute a representative-client relationship.