August, 2021

Social Security August Newsletter

Social Security Spotlight: Managing Multiple Benefits
NARSSA | Social Security Newsletter | August 2021


Monthly Newsletter
August 2021
Top Stories
Source: RSSA
“What birthday will you be celebrating next? Are you approaching retirement? Do you plan on collecting Social Security in the near future? Here are the most important birthdays to keep in mind as they can have a direct impact on your retirement and Social Security income…”
Source: CNBC
“Social Security disability is designed for people who suffer mental or physical conditions that have lasted or are expected to last at least 12 months. “Many of those who have long haul symptoms haven’t met that duration requirement quite yet,” Geist said….”
Source: Forbes
“Today with many double-income households, the gap between your own Social Security benefits (based on your work record) and the spousal benefits may not be that wide. So, when planning to maximize your Social Security benefits in retirement, it can pay to review your various Social Security claiming options…”
Source: MarketWatch
“Fortunately, there is now a variety of ways to get help making smart Social Security claiming decisions – from websites, apps and software to Social Security specialists you can hire…”
Source: MSN Money
“It’s worth paying for advice, because the Social Security decisions you make now, will hugely impact your entire future…”
Ask Martha
Question: I am recently widowed, age 64 and plan to work until 65.5. I do not plan to collect my Social Security until age 70. When I retire at 65.5, can I collect my [deceased] husband’s Social Security until I start to collect mine? My benefits would be higher than my husband’s.
Response: Yes, you collect a survivor benefit based on what your husband was receiving and then switch over to your own retirement benefit at a later age if it is larger than the survivor benefit. If you wait to do that until age 70, your retirement benefit will have increased to the highest amount possible…
Social Security Spotlight: Managing Multiple Benefits
What are the different types of Social Security benefits? ‘Social Security benefits’ is an umbrella term which includes retirement benefits, spousal benefits, survivor benefits, and disability benefits.

Can I collect two benefits? If you are eligible to collect more than one benefit, you will only be able to receive the amount equal to the higher benefit. For example, if you are eligible for your own retirement benefit as well as a spousal benefit, you will receive the amount that is the higher of the two benefits.

What about Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits? The Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program is a federal program funded by general tax revenues (not Social Security taxes). It provides monthly payments to adults and children with disabilities or blindness, to meet basic needs for food, clothing, and shelter if their income and resources are below specific financial limits. You may be eligible to receive SSI monthly payments even if you are already receiving Social Security retirement or disability benefits.

Can I choose which benefit I receive? You will not get to choose because of a rule called “deemed filing.” When you file for a benefit, you are deemed to be filing for all of your eligible benefits. The Social Security Administration will give you the highest of the benefits you are eligible for. There are two exceptions to this rule. One is filing a “restricted application,” but this is only available to those born in 1953 or earlier. The other exception is to those who are eligible for survivor benefits. You can receive survivor benefits while waiting to file for your own benefit.

What is a family maximum benefit? Sometimes there are multiple family members receiving benefits based on the retiree’s earnings, such as widow(er)s and children. The total of family benefits may not exceed the family maximum benefit threshold.

There are strategies to ensure you get the most out of your multiple benefits, but they are different for everyone. Working with an RSSA will ensure you make the optimal Social Security decisions. Learn more about Social Security benefits here. 
Case Study of the Month
I recently worked with clients who have an adult child with a disability. The child became disabled at a very young age. Currently, their child receives benefits as an adult so my clients wanted to know if and how that would change when they filed for their own Social Security retirement benefits. I was able to walk them through the details including the benefits and the amounts they would all be entitled to. My clients were grateful that I was able to navigate them through the complicated process.
If you want help making the best Social Security decisions for you and your loved ones, work with a Registered Social Security Analyst.


Consult with an RSSA to optimize your benefits
Most people make a sub-optimal filing decision, losing out on money they are entitled to. An RSSA can help you optimize your Social Security benefits and support you in making the best decisions for your personal situation. Request a consultation today. Get help now.
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