Tag: social security benefits

Social Security: What Can Make You End Up Getting Less Benefits?

Social Security: What Can Make You End Up Getting Less Benefits?

Social Security Dial
What makes your social security benefits go down?

When it comes time to begin receiving Social Security benefits, you’ll want to make sure that you receive as much as you can. Unfortunately, there are a number of provisions amongst the thousands of rules that make up the Social Security program that could cause you to receive less than you expected.

Factors That Could Reduce Your Social Security Benefits

There are a number of different actions that you could take that could help to increase your benefits, such as waiting to collect your benefits until the age of 70 instead of taking them at full retirement age (66). However, there are also a number of actions that could reduce your benefits as well. Knowing what these are can help prevent you from making mistakes that could hurt how much you get from Social Security. The following are some of the factors that could reduce your Social Security benefits:

Collecting Your Retirement Benefits too Early

You can take your benefits before you reach full retirement age. However, your benefits will be reduced based on how long is left before you reach full retirement age. While you’ll begin receiving money sooner, you may lose money over the long term depending on how long you live. The following is a general breakdown of how much your Social Security benefits will be reduced based on your age:

  • 25 percent less at age 62
  • 20 percent less at age 63
  • 6.7 percent less at age 65

Waiting to Collect Benefits as a Spouse or Ex-spouse

Usually, waiting to collect your benefits will be beneficial, since the longer you wait, the more you’ll generally receive. However, this is not always the case. If you are the low-earning spouse or ex-spouse, you may want to collect your benefits at the age of 62 instead of waiting. This way you can switch to your spousal benefit so that you can collect on the account of your spouse or ex-spouse once you hit full retirement age.

Taking Your Benefits too Early as the Spouse or Ex-spouse

There is an asterisk to the previous point. If you collect your retirement benefit early and your spouse or ex-spouse decides to take their retirement benefit before or in the same month that you’ve taken yours, you will be forced to take their benefit early and at a permanently reduced amount.

You Owe the Federal Government

If you still owe the federal government, such as federal taxes or delinquent federal student loans, then the government may be able to take out money that you owe from your Social Security benefits to satisfy your unpaid debts. How much they can take depends on who you owe. For example, the Department of Education can only take the smallest of three options – the amount you owe, less than $750 a month or 15 percent of your monthly benefit payment. Fortunately, there are protections against third-party debt collectors, which means that your benefits will only be affected by federal debts. Federal creditors that can garnish funds from your benefits include the:

  • Department of Education
  • IRS
  • Department of Justice
  • Department of Veterans Affairs
  • U.S. Postal Service
  • Library of Congress
  • Securities and Exchange Commission
  • U.S. Department of State
  • Small Business Administration
  • Bureau of the Fiscal Service
  • USDA Food and Nutrition Service
  • USDA Rural Development

To make sure that you don’t make any mistakes that could reduce your Social Security benefits, be sure to contact SSDA USA today. You can by call us anytime at 602-952-3200 for a free consultation, and you can also take advantage of our LiveChat feature.

This is attorney advertising. SSDA, LLC is a group of attorneys that pursues claims for Social Security Disability benefits on behalf of its clients against the Social Security Administration. SSDA, LLC is in no way a part of the Social Security Administration. Further, 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.