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Social Security

Know Your Benefits

Wading through the information regarding social security benefits can be confusing, but it’s important to know them. You’ve worked hard and are entitled to what you’ve earned.

The commonly known “social security” benefits are retirement benefits. You’re eligible for them if you’ve worked at least ten years, paid taxes, and earned the minimum number of social security credits (usually forty and no more than four4 per year. You’ll receive a set monthly amount that changes very year.

Widows/widowers may receive their spouse’s benefits. In this situation, you’re allowed to switch to your own benefits when you’re sixty-two. If you’re receiving your deceased spouse’s benefits, and your own retirement benefits would pay more, you may want to wait until you reach the full retirement age to make the switch.

If you have a physical or mental disability that will probably last for a year or more, you may be eligible for disability benefits.

In the case of divorce, your ex-spouse may be able to receive benefits, assuming the marriage lasted at least ten years, and your ex-spouse is at least sixty-two years old, and unmarried.

Survivor’s benefits are available to the family members (spouse and children) of the person who passed away, provided that certain requirements are fulfilled, which have to do with the ages of the deceased and the children, and their disability status, and education status.

If you’ve racked up enough social security credits, your spouse or children may be entitled to a single payment of $255 when you die.

If you’re divorced, when you pass, your surviving ex-spouse may be entitled to benefits. The requirements for this category are similar to those for divorced couples when both people are living. However, the surviving spouse must have remarried after the age of sixty and still be receivinge your benefits.

Finally, there are Medicare benefits. There are four types, each with its own letter designation.

The social security benefits you receive will be paid to you via direct deposit into your bank account. If you don’t have a bank account, you may receive your benefits in the form of a prepaid debit card or an electronic transfer account. In order to make the best decisions for your health, and the health of your bank account, – you should take the time to learn more about the different benefits offered by the Social Security Administration.



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