Social Security: Can I
get it now?
What is it exactly?
Security benefits are only available after you have worked a certain
number of years. Your eligibility for Social Security is measured in
credits. Individuals born after 1929 must accumulate 40 credits or
work for 10 years to qualify. You can earn one credit for each
quarter for the years you have worked.
When can I begin
to receive Social Security?
benefits may be received as early as the age of 62. You will need to
think about this quite a lot, as your payments will be higher if you
wait for a longer period of time before you begin to receive them.
When you decide you want to start drawing benefits, you should contact
your local Social Security office and ask which month is best for you
to start receiving your benefits. Depending upon when you decide to
start receiving benefits, you may get a higher payment if you may have
earned an additional work credit for the additional time spent on the
job. The full retirement age is 65 for individuals born before 1938
and up to 67 for those born after 1960. Also, if your spouse is
currently receiving benefits and you are over the age of 62, you may
also be eligible to receive some of your benefits as well. The amount
available at that time is usually half of what your spouse receives.
How do you apply?
In order to apply
for Social Security benefits, you will need the following
discharge papers if you were in the service;
birth certificate and Social Security number if he or she is also
account number and the name of your bank, in order to deposit your
Whenever you apply
for Social Security you must bring the original documents or send
certified copies. Yearly summaries are sent to notify you of your
benefit amount, if you choose to check on your benefit prior to
retirement. You can sign up to receive this summary automatically by
mail on a yearly basis if you wish. You should check with your local
Social Security office for information on how to sign up by looking
for their number in the government pages of your local telephone book
or online at
Security benefits are determined by your average earnings during your
lifetime. To calculate your benefits, you may use the online
Information from Seniorís Rights by Brette McWhorter Sember
information and web page by Paul Susic MA Licensed Psychologist Ph.D
Candidate - Clinical Director
Senior Care Psychological Consulting