September 1, 2020

YOUR SOCIAL SECURITY | Rock Island, Illinois Office

By Cristina Vital
Social Security Manager
Rock Island Social Security Office

WHEN SHOULD YOU START RECEIVING SOCIAL SECURITY BENEFITS?

We’re often asked, “What’s the best age to start receiving retirement benefits?” The answer is: there’s not a single “best age” for everyone. The most important thing is to make an informed decision. Base your decision about when to apply for benefits on your individual and family circumstances.

Would it be better for you to start getting benefits early with a smaller monthly amount for more years, or wait for a larger monthly payment over a shorter timeframe? The answer is personal and depends on several factors, such as your current cash needs, your current health, and your family longevity. You should also consider plans to work in retirement and other sources of retirement income. Most importantly, study your future financial needs and obligations, and calculate your future Social Security benefit.

We encourage you to weigh all the facts carefully before making the crucial decision about when to begin receiving Social Security benefits. This decision affects the monthly benefit you will receive for the rest of your life, and may affect benefit protection for your survivors.

SSA’s New Retirement Portal

Our new retirement portal is more user-friendly and easier to navigate, whether you’re ready to learn about, apply for, or manage your retirement benefits. The redesigned portal will make it easier for you to find and read about retirement benefits, with fewer pages and clearer information. We condensed and rewrote most of the pages to make them easier to understand. The portal is compatible for use on mobile devices so you can learn and do what you want from wherever you want.

Our retirement webpage has information including:

  • Retirement Publications;
  • Benefit Calculators;
  • Retirement benefits estimates;
  • Full retirement age information; and
  • Spouse benefits.

You and your loved ones can access all of these resources at www.ssa.gov/benefits/retirement.

LEARN ONLINE WITH SOCIAL SECURITY

With more people learning online, we would like to highlight some of the digital resources we have for educators. Chances are a student will know someone who receives retirement or disability benefits. This could be a way to relate our many programs to a new audience. Showing young people that our programs help wounded warriors and children with disabilities can help them develop greater empathy and provide a path to inspired learning.

We offer an educator’s toolkit teachers can use to engage students and educate them on our programs. The toolkit includes:

  • Lesson plans with objectives;
  • Infographics and handouts for each lesson plan;
  • Links to Social Security web pages;
  • Talking points; and
  • Quiz questions and answers.

You can access the toolkit at www.ssa.gov/thirdparty/educators.html.
Parents are a child’s first educators. You can use our toolkit to introduce your child or grandchild to the importance of having a social safety net for hardworking Americans.

We value and welcome the efforts all teachers make to educate America’s young people, and we want to help spark discussions with students about the benefits Social Security provides to millions of people. Please share our toolkit with your favorite educators today.

SOCIAL SECURITY INFORMING YOU ABOUT RECENT SCAMS

The most effective way to defeat scammers is to know how to identify scams. You should just hang up on any call you’re uncertain of and ignore suspicious emails. Scammers are always finding new ways to steal your money and personal information by exploiting your fears.

One common tactic scammers use is posing as federal agents and other law enforcement. They may claim your Social Security number is linked to a crime. They may even threaten to arrest you if you do not comply with their instructions. Just hang up.

As a reminder, you should continue to remain vigilant of phone calls when someone says there’s a problem with your Social Security number or your benefits. If you owe money to Social Security, we will mail you a letter explaining your rights, payment options, and information about appealing.

There are a few ways you can identify a scam call. If you do business with us, remember that we will never:

  • Threaten you with benefit suspension, arrest, or other legal action unless you pay a fine or fee.
  • Promise a benefit increase or other assistance in exchange for payment.
  • Require payment by retail gift card, cash, wire transfer, internet currency, or prepaid debit card.
  • Demand secrecy from you in handling a Social Security-related problem.
  • Send official letters or reports containing personally identifiable information via email.

If you do not have ongoing business with our agency, it is unlikely we will contact you. If you get a suspicious call claiming to be from Social Security, you should hang up and report it to our law enforcement office at oig.ssa.gov.

For additional information about the local Social Security offices in Rock Island, Illinois (hours of operation,  directions, contact numbers, etc.) please visit our website:

https://ssa-office.com/org/social-security-office-in-rock-island/

Filed Under: Finance, News, Retirement