Social Security Benefits and When to Receive Them

Social Security Benefits

What determines Social Security eligibility

Generally, any person who has paid into Social Security for at least 10 years qualifies for Social Security benefits. Benefits can be claimed when you turn 62, but the Social Security benefit amount will be at a reduced amount.

If you want to receive 100% of the benefit, you'll need to wait until you reach your full retirement age to claim benefits. Your full retirement age depends on the year in which you were born.

You can also elect to receive your Social Security benefits after your full retirement age, entitling you to delayed retirement credits. These credits increase your payment for every month beyond your full retirement age that you delay. Overall, delaying increases your benefit by 8% for every year you hold off, until age 70.

Apply about three months before when you want your benefits to start. When to apply, depends on your needs. There are pros and Consultation with to delaying on collecting your Social Security benefits. But, you must take Medicare benefits at full retirement age or risk incurring penalties. Even if you are not receiving your Social Security retirement benefit when you turn 65, you need to apply for Medicare. This can be done online at the Social Security Administration's website. Your initial enrollment period begins three months before the month of your 65th birthday and extends for three months thereafter. Failure to timely apply for Medicare means a permanent penalty of 10% of the Medicare Part B premium for every year you were supposed to enroll but did not.


The materials on this website are intended for general informational purposes only. These materials do not, and are not intended to, constitute legal advice. Visitors to this website should consult with competent legal counsel. This article is not intended to, and does not create, an attorney client relationship with Weiss, Tom & Trapanese, LLC or any of the firm's lawyers. This website is not intended as an offer to represent you.

Contact an Experienced Elder Law Attorney

Our attorneys are familiar with the Social Security and Medicare benefits. For more information, you may contact us.

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