THE BULK OF SOCIAL SECURITY benefits is paid out in retirement to workers who earned enough work credits, as previously discussed. If you retire in 2003 or thereafter, you must have accumulated at least forty credits to be eligible for Social Security retirement benefits.
If you have earned enough credits, you can retire and receive Social Security benefits as early as your sixty-second birthday, although your benefits will be reduces permanently if you retire before 65 (or your full retirement age if you retire after 2002, discussed below). But you won’t get any benefits unless you apply for the. You can work hard all your life and retire at age 65, but the Social Security office is not going to start sending you checks automatically. Ideally, you should notify your local Social Security office three months before you retire. Even if you won’t be retiring, you should still contact Social Security office before your sixty-fifth birthday in order to get medical coverage.
To apply for Social Security retirement benefits, call Social Security toll-free at (800) 772-1213. If you are deaf or hard hearing, call them at (800) 325-0778 (TTY). You also can call or visit your local Social Security field office. Their number is found in the government pages in the front of your telephone book. Or you can find the nearest Social Security field office by going on the Internet to http://www.ssa.gov/top10.html and clicking on “Apply for Social Security Retirement Benefits Online” link.
Suppose you retire at your full retirement age but forget to apply for Social Security benefits for three months. Do you lose your benefits for those months? No. You can receive back payments for up to six months after you retire. But if you retire before your full retirement age, generally you can only get benefits starting with the month in which you apply for retirement benefits, your benefits will begin with August.
When applying for retirements benefits, you’ll need your:
- Social Security card (or a record thereof);
- birth certificate;
- children’s birth certificates (if they are applying);
- proof of U.S citizenship or lawful alien status if you were not born in the United States;
- spouse’s birth certificate and Social Security number if he or she is applying for benefits on your record;
- marriage certificate (if applying on a spouse’s record);
- military discharge papers if you had military service;
- W-2 form from the previous year, or your last year’s tax return if you are self employed.
It is important to protect your legal rights. Call (916) 922-9902 to speak with a Sacramento work injury attorney who will answer all your questions and provide a clear plan of action with your Sacramento workers compensation and/or Sacramento social security disability claim. Call Sacramento work injury lawyer Tom R. Johnson today.
If you or a loved one has been injured at work it is important to protect your legal rights.
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