FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Q.  If a recipient works and they also start collecting Social Security at age 62, how much of their reduced benefit (due to taking the benefit at an age below their full retirement age) will be taxed or penalized?  
A. 
Other than the reduction in benefits, there are no additional penalties that are imposed by Social Security.  In this case, just the normal federal, state and/or local taxes will still be due.
   

Q.  What if I come across a benefit to which I am already entitled to but have not applied for?  
A.
  Thanks to “retroactivity,” you can apply today and usually receive up to 6 months’ worth of that benefit retroactively, in the form of a lump sum.
 

Q.  If a widow(er) takes a reduced amount of Social Security retirement on his or her own earnings record, will this reduction apply to the full benefit of their deceased spouse?  
A.  No.  If a widow(er) waits until full retirement age to begin collecting their survivors benefits, the amount of that payment will not be reduced.

Q.  If a worker started claiming their Social Security benefits prior to the 2010 ruling, will they still be subject to the re-do limitation, or will they be “grandfathered” from the ruling?
 
A. 
If a worker had not filed their request before December 8, 2010, then they will fall under the new ruling and will need to file their request within 12 months of Social Security entitlement and only once in their lifetime.
 

Q.  If a worker files for their benefits and then suspends them, can he or she receive their suspended benefits in a retroactive lump sum payment, if the waited until their full retirement age to originally file?  
A.
  Due to the passing of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, YOU LOSE, anyone who asks to have their benefits suspended after April 29, 2016 will no longer be able to receive a lump sum repayment of benefits that have been withheld.

Q.  Can I receive special earnings based upon my military pay record for periods of active duty or active duty for training?
A.  Yes, under certain circumstances and depending on when you served, these extra earnings may help you qualify for Social Security or increase the amount of your Social Security benefit.  If you served:

  • From 1957 through 1967 - Social Security will add the extra credits to your record when you apply for Social Security benefits.
  • From 1968 through 2001 - You don’t need to do anything to receive these extra credits.  The credits were automatically added to your record.
  • After 2001 - There are no special extra earnings credits for military service.
For more information regarding veteran's benefits, please click here.

Q.  Can I, at full retirement age, take my spousal benefit, 50% of my spouse’s full retirement benefit, while I wait for my own benefit to grow up at 8% per year until age 70?
A.  Due to the passing of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, YOU LOSE.  Anyone who was not 62 before January 2, 2016, and at full retirement age, files for just a spousal benefit, will be “deemed” to have filed for both their spousal benefit and their own benefit. 



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