Do You Know About These Three Myths About Social Security Benefits?
You may know a thing or two basic facts about social security benefits.
You know that you will receive benefits when you retire if you are disabled and about spousal benefits.
However, there are also a few myths bothering you.
Let’s see some transparency and clarity by debunking these myths.
Myth No.1: Your Social Security Benefits Are Affected by Your Ex-Spouse’s Actions
Yes. You are entitled to your ex-spouse’s benefits upon reaching your FRA.
It doesn’t matter how long you were divorced.
You can claim your benefits or 50% of your ex-spouse’s benefits, whichever is higher if you two were married for ten years and haven’t remarried.
All you have to do to make a claim is to meet your local Social security administration office. Take along documents proving your marriage and divorce.
They will then do the calculations, and once you submit your claim, you start receiving higher benefits.
The good news is that your ex-spouse needn’t know about your claim. And your request doesn’t impact their benefits in any way.
Myth No.2: Social Security Benefits Depend on Your Wages Earned before 65.
People get confused because calculating social security benefits is somewhat confusing. However, remember that your benefits are calculated based on the highest earnings over 35 years.
It doesn’t even have to be consecutive years and applies to all your earnings before you turn 65.
Even if you work part or full time past 65, then your earnings are still included in the calculations. They just have to be high enough to be considered as part of your highest 35 years.
However, you must have worked for at least ten years, and have contributed to the Social security program, to receive social security benefits. It’s equal to 40 credits in the social security system.
Myth No.3: IF You Claim Early, You Can Receive an Increment Upon Reaching Full Retirement Age.
Many people assume that they will receive an increment upon reaching their FRA. They believe that they can make claims as early as 62, and their benefits increase when they turn 66 or more.
It’s all a misconception and not true.
There’s no increment in your income once you claim your social security benefits.
But you can voluntarily cancel your benefits upon reaching your FRA and resume anytime before 70. If you do this, your annual benefits sum increases by 8% per year of delay till 70.
However, you will have to cancel within the first year of receiving benefits. You must also repay whatever monies you or your spouse or family member may have received based on your benefits.
Only then can you make a claim sometime later and end up receiving a larger monthly payment. And while your base benefit automatically starts when you reach 70, there will be no further increase.
At most, there may be an adjustment in your annual cost of living unless otherwise specified. Moreover, each person can cancel claims only once in their lives.
There’s only one scenario where you receive a ‘bump-up’ in social security benefits if you claim upon reaching your FRA.
It’s if and when your social security benefits are less than 50% of your spouse’s benefits.
If this is the case, your benefits are automatically ‘topped up’ to receive half of what your spouse receives.
With these three myths debunked, and you know your numbers and maths, and staying current, social security benefits should now be relatively transparent.
Don’t fret if you are still uncomfortable. You have your social security benefits lawyer in Glendale to help you out.