January 31, 2018

YOUR SOCIAL SECURITY | Rock Island, Illinois Office

By Cristina Vital
Social Security Manager
Rock Island Social Security Office

REACHING RETIREMENT AGE?
HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Every birthday deserves celebration, but some seem a little more special than others do. Think of a baby’s first birthday. Sweet 16. The “Big 4-0.” Then, before you know it, along comes 65. This last milestone is especially important to retirees.

For nearly half a century, American workers looked to 65 as the age at which they could stop working and finally reap their full retirement benefits under the Social Security Act of 1935.

Today, however, the full retirement age is now 66 or 67, depending on when you were born. In 1983, Congress changed the law to increase the retirement age gradually over a 22-year period, citing improvements in the health of older people and increases in average life expectancy. To find out your full retirement age, visit www.socialsecurity.gov/planners/retire/ageincrease.html.

If you’ve contributed enough to the Social Security system through payroll taxes, you still can claim your retirement benefits at 65 — or 62, 63, or 64, for that matter — but your monthly payments will be permanently reduced.

For help deciding which age is right for you to start receiving Social Security retirement benefits, read, “When to Start Receiving Retirement Benefits” at www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs/EN-05-10147.pdf.

We have also made applying for benefits easier than ever. You can do it online! To apply for benefits, please go to www.socialsecurity.gov/applyforbenefits.

That said, age 65 should still factor in prominently as you prepare for retirement and a stable financial future, because that is when most American workers first become eligible for Medicare health insurance coverage.

To see if you have earned enough credits through work to qualify for Medicare at age 65, view your Social Security Statement online using your personal my Social Security account. Create or log on to your account at www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount.

If you are already receiving Social Security benefits before age 65, we will automatically enroll you in Medicare Part A (hospital insurance) and Medicare Part B (supplemental medical insurance) effective the first day of the month you turn 65. Watch your mailbox a few months before your birthday for your Medicare card.

Otherwise, three months before your 65th birthday, you can apply for Medicare Parts A and B online at www.socialsecurity.gov/applyforbenefits.

Your Initial Enrollment Period for Medicare starts three months before your 65th birthday month and continues for three months after. To learn more about Medicare enrollment and coverage, please visit www.socialsecurity.gov/medicare. To learn more about Medicare coverage, visit www.medicare.gov.

Social Security is with you through life’s journey, on your first birthday and the many more that follow. Learn how we help you and your family secure today and tomorrow through our financial benefits, information, and planning tools at www.socialsecurity.gov.

WHAT DAY OF THE MONTH DO I GET MY SOCIAL SECURITY PAYMENT?

Timing is everything, and the arrival time of your monthly payment from Social Security can be key to keeping your financial house in order.

As you budget to pay your bills and save for future needs, keep in mind that your monthly retirement or disability benefit will be paid at the same time each month. To see your next payment date, create or log on to your my Social Security online account at www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount and go to the “Benefits & Payments” section.

  • If you were born on the 1st through the 10th of the month, you’ll be paid on the second Wednesday of the month;
  • If you were born on the 11th through the 20th of the month, you’ll be paid on the third Wednesday of the month; and
  • If you were born after the 20th of the month, you will be paid on the fourth Wednesday of the month.

There are exceptions. For example, children and spouses who receive benefits based on someone else’s work record will be paid on the same day as the primary beneficiary.

For others, we may issue your payments on the third of each month. Among other reasons, we do this if:

  • You filed for benefits before May 1, 1997;
  • You also receive a Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payment;
  • Your Medicare premiums are paid for by the state where you live; or
  • You live in a foreign country.

Individuals who receive SSI payments due to disability, age, or blindness receive those payments on the first of each month.

If your payment date falls on a federal holiday or weekend, you can expect to receive that month’s payment on the weekday immediately prior.

You can see a current schedule for Social Security and SSI benefit payments in an easy-to-read calendar at www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10031-2018.pdf.

Social Security is with you through life’s journey, helping you to secure today and tomorrow through important financial benefits, information, and planning tools. To learn more, please visit www.socialsecurity.gov.

Filed Under: Finance, News, Retirement