52 thoughts on “Social Security Has a Basket of Useful Offerings

  1. The SS Rep was very kind and helpful when I called to report my mother’s passing. The SS agency has improved immensely

  2. Why does Social Security Administration deny fully earned Retirement benefits to a 72-year old, who was unable to repay the full balance on his student loan debt over 30-years ago? The Department of Education has other methods to collect delinquent debt. They should NOT be taking it from Social Security Retirement benefits. FYI: The Supreme Court ruled against retirees on this issue in 1991. This policy should be reviewed by a current Congress for fairness to retirees. Until then, I see NO reason for anyone to willingly contribute to Social Security as a means to have future retirement income.

    • So you’ve been stiffing the government out of repaying your legal debt for over 30 years. Now you’re whining because you have to pay it back? I hope they charge you interest. And that is what’s fair!

    • A deadbeat for over 30 years! What would be unfair is to allow you to skate and make others have to pay. Enjoy your picnic.

      • To AKA, et al: these are remarkably cruel responses. Student loans should have been taken out of his tax refunds, paychecks, etc. decades ago, when he was young enough to acquire 2nd or even 3rd jobs. Perhaps he would have had a better chance to repay the money. Now he’s on a fixed income, and who knows what he’s left with after these ancient debts are carved out of his legitimate, hard-earned retirement check.
        Obama was forward-thinking enough to offer forgiveness programs for this kind of debt: our economy, our culture, our educated voting citizens, AND our ability to compete in a global economy (to name only a few benefits)–our nation, any nation, is markedly improved by the results of higher education. Soon it will be as vital as a high school diploma once was. The beneficial nature of education will always outweigh the cost of obtaining that very education.
        Why not ask instead why it took them so long to find him and his deserved benefits after working all his life. I have friends in their thirties who are chased down by the equivalent of private investigators. Jobs are hardly plentiful in many fields. And, so, many of these college graduates have had no choice but to join the largest, yet rarely mentioned ranks: the working poor.
        I guess we feel their checks should be garnished as well? As a woman in her late forties very unhappily unable to work but fortunate enough to receive SSDI, I can assure you that resources are too scarce to take any more benefits or funds from people who are already well under the poverty line. The food banks in my area, a technology triangle of significant wealth and significant poverty, are wringing their hands as they watch their funding disappear and their food supplies dwindle.
        It’s very strange how people in great need are essentially invisible to so many. No one should forget the documented fact that every American is merely three unpredictable events away from living an unthinkably hard and desperate life.
        I haven’t meant to bore anyone, but the three of you startled and shocked me.
        So there’s some money that’s gone unpaid. Last I read, about 3/4 of our taxes are allocated to defense. We’ve amassed world-ending weapons to the point of insane redundancy; meanwhile, we sent troops into combat with faulty armor or with none at all, their own families desperately purchasing and sending them such things.
        The allocation of funds from the taxes we pay makes little to no sense to me. So beyond a tired “slippery slope” rant, I doubt many of us noticed, much less lost a wink of sleep over one man’s inability to pay a 30-year-old debt.
        Without knowing how much he receives from his retirement, and no sane person would have said it, AND without knowing the percentage of his benefits they intend to take … how can you show not only a complete lack of compassion, but instead cheer for circumstances that may break him?
        There is ample and unending suffering occurring in every nook of this world. I struggle every month to keep the power on, afford my prescriptions (which I can’t), and keep *something* left in the cabinets or fridge until I am only 4-5 days away from my check (again, I try but can’t). And I’m still not even close, in any way that matters, to the levels of struggle taking place everywhere in this world.
        Your three individual responses so confounded my sense of right and wrong, I could not only NOT respond; I couldn’t even keep my response short.
        I genuinely wish you three the best future possible, as I would anyone.
        And to the gentleman with the ancient debt, I honestly hope for any computer glitch that might delete this entire situation for you. There is little I find fair in the story you shared. I wouldn’t have commented, but to then see people actually wanting to vilify you … I was extremely agitated and thus felt forced to comment, at length. I wish you the best of luck in all that’s meaningful to you.

  3. While this blog allows the SSA to distribute information to current and future SSA beneficiaries, the analogies to a picnic and ice cream choices is childish. It continues to propagate the belief that SSA is ALL things to ALL people; that it’s a panoply of choices coming out of a picnic basket at the behest of the Government. Yes, there are rules, which are very confusing if one is to believe the past comments on this blog, to apply for and receive benefits. Workers and their employers contribute to this program without having a choice. SSA is on a path to insolvency, although we all know Congress will never let that happen. There are hard choices to be made by all if we are to keep SSA afloat.
    Why would you continue to sell SSA like it’s a picnic?

    • I agree with you entirely. Frequently SS posts things that are inappropriate here. And this is another waste of taxpayer funds. When you are old, disabled or widowed, it’s hardly a picnic.

      • Your right about waste of tax dollars we support everyone that comes in our country but our government doesn’t help Americans !

        • I am not agree with your comment everyone have to work to you deserve from social security administration.and also we the people.

      • I’m young, disabled AND widowed with 2 young children!! It’s NOT a picnic, we couldn’t afford the food! Do you know that you can only collect on yours & your deceased spouses earnings once you reach retirement? Why would I need it then when I’d only have MY mouth to feed?? Something hinky is going on here….

    • Maybe it is best to check out SSA’s history and maybe it is best the government has not provided Social Security benefits for the retired, disabled and survivors? It is not perfect because people are not perfect. Furthermore, there are people who take advantage of the system so if you know if there is someone who is misusing or defrauding American tax dollars, please report it.

  4. Please amend the requirement of having a U.S. postal/residence address when registering to MySocialSecurity so that we American citizen retirees who have chosen and are now living back home for economic reasons (our meager pension won’t let us live anywhere in the USA). I wanna register so I can transact business with SSA via online, but the form said I gotta have a U.S. postal address/residence. Please revise that to include us living abroad. Thank you very much

    • We are sorry for the inconvenience, August. You’re right, the “my Social Security” authentication system requires address verification as one of the essential criteria for issuing an account. People with APO/FPO/DPO addresses can create an account overseas, but our system does not support registration and account creation for users with a foreign address yet. Remember for any assistance related to your Social Security benefits, please contact your local U.S. embassy or consulate. Also, our Office of International Operations home page provides more information to assist our customers living abroad. We value your thoughts and will use your suggestions to explore how we can further improve the services we offer. Your feedback is greatly appreciated.

  5. Hello. Do I have to receive my social security benefits by my full retirement age of 66 & 4 months? Or, can I wait until I am 68 & 4 months? And is there a penalty if I wait past full retirement age? Thank you

    • The longer you wait, the larger you retirement, that is true, but I’m not sure if you plan to work for the period you state.paying into SS will increase your retirement

    • Hi. Thanks for your question. There are a lot of factors that go into deciding when to retire. If you choose to get benefits before your full retirement age, they will be reduced. Your full retirement age is determined by your year of birth. By delaying your benefits, you will receive a higher benefit amount, this is because your benefit increases a certain percentage if you delay receiving benefits. These increases, called delayed retirement credits, are added automatically, from the time you reach full retirement age until you decide to start receiving benefits or reach age 70. To estimate your retirement benefits and determine the best retirement age for you, visit our Retirement Planning page. Also, we advise people to file for Medicare benefits three months before age 65. You can apply online for Medicare Only even if you are not ready to retire. We hope this information helps.



    • This sounds like one of those scams…I would be careful, if anyone asks you to buy their products. The elderly are victims too often. I was robbed by “caregivers” when my husband returned from a hospital and rehab.
      I now say, ” After 65 lock up everything, including your checkbook and savings.”
      Don’t buy sweet promises of helping others! They sound like old fashioned con artists.

  7. If you work and earned income and you put onto social security.you can get early retirement at age 62 years old you don’t have to wait for full retirement.that’s my advice.

    • Hi, Selena. We are sorry to hear of your loss. To be eligible for a Social Security benefit payment, a person has to live throughout the entire month. We can’t pay benefits for the month of death. If the deceased was receiving Social Security benefits, you must return the benefit received for the month of death or any later months. For example, if the person dies in June, you must return the benefit paid in July. Keep in mind that Social Security benefits are paid the month after they are due. However, some of the family members may be eligible to receive survivors’ benefits. Please call our toll free number, 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) Monday through Friday between 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. to speak with one of our representatives for further assistance. Or, you can visit your local office.

  8. Back in April, I signed up for a MYACCOUNT through SSA and had no problem whatsoever accessing my account. However, since the message appeared regarding the new changes, I have not been able to access MYACCOUNT. I have tried going through every avenue I can imagine week after week hoping that at the time, the server was going through an update, service, etc. Now, after a month of doing so, I am very frustrated. I have even tried altering my internet security setting on multiple browsers to see if it was possible that the site was being blocked on my end. This, too, was to no avail. Can someone help me? Please?

    • Hi Lani. We are sorry that you are having issues accessing your account. We have established a dedicated My Social Security Hotline to assist you. To reach this hotline, call 1-800-772-1213, after you hear “Briefly tell me why you are calling,” say “Help Desk”. Sometimes, it might be best to visit your local Social Security office for further assistance.

  9. My sister passed away in January. She lived with us for almost 10 years. She was never married, so there
    was no spouse or children to claim any benefits she may have been entitled to. We do not know if we can request the funeral benefit for her. I am the administrator of her estate, which was very little.
    Those funds went to one of her nephews and one niece. Was she entitled to the funeral benefit or any other benefits that I should have requested on her behalf.
    Thank you

  10. I have a question about collecting ss from my ex spouse. We were married 30 years. I am 4 years away from full retirement age, and will receive ss on my work record and it will be less than my ex husband’s work record. He was the higher wage earner. My ex is 6 years away from full retirement age, and he worked 38 years. If he collects his social security early, will that affect me as far as collecting on his work record when I reach my full retirement age? Or, can I still collect half of his benefits at my full retirement age? Thank you for your help. Tinamarie

    • Hi! Your benefit as a divorced spouse can be equal to one-half of your ex-spouse’s full retirement benefit amount, only if you start receiving benefits at your full retirement age. Keep in mind, that in order to receive benefits on his record, your ex-husband must be of retirement age (62 or older) or be receiving disability benefits. If he does not apply for his benefits (at age 62 or older), you may still be eligible to receive benefits on his record, if you have been divorced for at least two years. Also, keep in mind that if you are eligible for retirement benefits on your own record, we pay that amount first. If the benefit on your spouse’s record is higher, you will get an additional amount on that record so that the combination of benefits equals that higher amount. See our Retirement Planner: If You Are Divorced for more information. Please call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213 for further assistance. Representatives are available Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. We hope this information helps.

  11. Thank you for the information. I have been looking at the great info on the SS website and have another question, please. I see that I would be entitled to divorced survivor’s benefits. And this part: “If you start receiving survivors benefits at age 62, you will get 81.0% of the monthly benefit.” Is this 81% of what would have been from my ex-spouse’s full retirement age? Thank you again. Tinamarie

    • I meant to say 81% from what I would have received at my full retirement for his record, which would be a little over $1,300 each month. His retirement benefit at full retirement age would be a little over $2,600 each month. And then 81% of $1,300 would be $1,053? Thanks!

  12. I started receiving SSA when I reached 62 years of age. I am now receiving supplemental SSI payments.

    I worked as a Senior Aide for 4 years, they took out Medicare withholdings. The took Social Security withholdings for the last two years. When will they count this toward my SSA benefits, I am 71 years of age now. Thank you.

    • Thank you for contacting us Ms. Dendy. Each year we review the records for all working Social Security recipients to see whether the additional earnings you had will increase your monthly benefit. If your earnings for the prior year are higher than one of the years we used to compute your retirement benefit, we will recalculate your benefit amount. If there is an increase, we will send you a letter telling you of your new benefit amount.
      Any of our office representatives should be able to assist you in reviewing your record and verifying your payment information. You may not even have to travel to the local Social Security office, you can write to us, or you can call our toll-free number at 1-800-772-1213. Representatives are available Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Thanks!

  13. My husband suspended his benefits when he was 67 and claimed spousal benefits (I was 69). He will be 70 in 2018 and wants to claim his own benefits. We believe it will be much safer if we go into the Social Security Office in January or February to arrange this, because when I originally applied for my benefits at 67, I kept a copy of everything I filed (printed out on computer), and made an appointment…The woman there said my paperwork was LOST…even though she knew things that she could not have possibly known without having seen my original on line submittal. Tony turns 70 in July of 2018. How can we verify that he will be getting his OWN benefits in July 2018? I am providing his name and email…I am his wife, Isabel L McCaughey (Schweiker) and my email is lori.mccaughey@gmail.com THANK YOU for your help!

  14. It’s great to know that we could potentially get and know more about social security in the comforts of our own home as you have suggested. That will be quite a convenience if we ever would need one. Honestly, I might give some websites a shot and try to research what offers we could manage to get with social security. Thanks! https://cooklaw.org/salt-lake-city/

    • Hello Robert. The National Technical Information Service distributes the Death Master File online. It contains more than 85 million records of deaths reported to Social Security from 1936 to the present. We hope this helps!

  15. At any point will my student loan be fore given once I reach age 66? I am 63 now and have been paying my student loan since 2008 and interest only years before that. I Did not get a degree.

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