Social Security Program Experts Can Answer Your Important Questions

October 8, 2020 • By

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Last Updated: August 19, 2021

There are many online resources about Social Security, so it is important that you come to us as the first place for answers. You can find many of the answers about our programs and services on our Frequently Asked Questions page. We feature our most-asked questions at the top of the page to help you find answers to the most common questions quickly, like:

You can also browse by topics like:

  • Disability.
  • Social Security Payments.
  • Retirement.
  • Medicare.

You can visit our publications library for detailed information on nearly all of our topics. We make each publication available in text, audio, and downloadable formats.

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About the Author

Darlynda Bogle, Assistant Deputy Commissioner

Darlynda Bogle, Assistant Deputy Commissioner


  1. Terry J.

    If a person age 65 on social security disability can earn $1310 per month in 2021 without losing benefits before full retirement age, does the earnings amount of $1310 amount stay the same when the individual gets to full retirement age?

    • Vonda

      Hi Terry, thanks for using our blog. Social Security disability benefits automatically change to retirement benefits when disability beneficiaries become full retirement age. Beginning with the month you reach full retirement age, earnings no longer reduce your benefits, no matter how much you earn.

      Visit our Receiving Benefits While Working web page for more details.

  2. Donna

    I sent in the form to receive medicare part B and would like to check the status but I can’t get through when I call 800-772-1213. I get disconnected every time after around 15 min. I have part A through OPM and turned 62 last April, I was told that I had to sign up through SSA. I have been trying since then and was told that I had to wait till GEP. I do have sign ins for both SSA and Medicare. What can I do. Help and Thanks

    • Vonda

      Hi Donna, thanks for using our blog. You can call your local Social Security office. Please look for the general inquiry telephone number at the Social Security Office Locator. The number may appear under Show Additional Office Information. Please be aware that our call wait times are longer than normal. We hope this information helps.

  3. Mark M.

    Are unemployment benefits authorized under the CARES act counted as income for SSI purposes

  4. William W.

    My spouse is receiving SS benefits selected benefits at 62. I will retire in a few years, will her benefit change as a result of my retirement? My salary is the higher of the two.

    • Vonda

      Hi William, thanks for using our blog to ask your question. We will always pay your spouse’s own retirement benefit first. If benefits as a spouse are higher than her own retirement benefits, she will get a combination of benefits equaling the higher spouse benefit. However, the spouse’s benefit cannot exceed one-half of your full retirement amount (not a reduced benefit amount). So, she can only receive additional spouse’s benefits if her own full retirement benefit (not a reduced benefit) is less than half of your full retirement benefit.

      Generally, when you apply for Social Security retirement benefits, we typically explore all other benefits that individuals could be eligible for based on that application. Check out our Benefits For Your Spouse web page for additional details.

  5. DIANE A.

    Is there a limit to how much money I can have in savings or checking while receiving my SSA retirement? I keep finding a $2000/individual, but I have to believe that is for SSI Disability.

    • Vonda

      Hi Diane, thanks for using our blog. If you’re receiving a Social Security benefit, your checking and savings account balances have no effect on your benefits. If you’re receiving Supplemental Security Income benefits, a change in your household income can affect your benefits. This is because the amount of an SSI benefit is based, in part, on the income and resources available to the individual receiving SSI benefits and the income and resources of his or her spouse. Check out our Understanding SSI web page for additional details regarding income. We hope you find this information helpful.

  6. Anthony J.

    If a women is collecting off her husband’s SS after his death & she is full retirement age of 66. If she remarried what happens to her current SS benefits that were based off her dead husbands earnings?

    • Vonda

      Hi Anthony, thank you for the question. Widows that remarry after age 60 (age 50 if disabled), may continue to qualify for benefits on their deceased spouse’s Social Security record. If your new spouse is a Social Security beneficiary, you may want to apply for spouse’s benefits on that record. If that amount is higher, you may be entitled to the higher amount, based on both records. Generally, you must be married for one year before you can get spouse’s benefits. Please visit our Frequently Asked Questions web page to see how marriage can affect Social Security benefits. We hope this helps!

  7. Marene M.

    can i collect unemployment while on social security ?

    • Vonda

      Hi Marene, thank you for your question. Unemployment benefits do not affect or reduce Social Security retirement and disability benefits. State unemployment compensation payments are not wages because they are paid due to unemployment rather than employment. However, income from Social Security may reduce your unemployment compensation. Contact your state unemployment office for information on how your state applies the reduction.

      If you’re receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI), unemployment insurance benefits are considered unearned income. If you, your spouse, or a child living in your household have any income other than your Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payment, including unemployment insurance benefits, you must tell us.

      To learn more about SSI and how income affects your payment, read What You Need to Know When You Get Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

  8. rick w.

    I plan to take ss at my full retirement age (66-2months). My wife is 6 months younger and her full retirement age is also 66-2months. We have a disabled child that is over 21 and receives disability benefits. Can my wife take spousal ss at my retirement date? Will this effect her ss income when she applies for her own at full retirement.

    • Vonda

      Hi Rick, thanks for using our blog. When you apply for Social Security retirement benefits, your child may be due Disabled Adult Child benefits on your record. If your child is eligible for disabled adult child benefits and your wife is caring for the child, she may also be eligible for unreduced spouse’s benefits on your record. She can choose to file for her own retirement benefits later, up to age 70. We hope this helps!

  9. Wynston K.

    The SS benefit application asks about work not covered by social security. How do I confirm whether or not work covered by a CalPERS pension was covered by social security? Does SS confirm that by contacting CalPERS?

  10. Wynston K.

    The SS benefit application asks for proof of marriage. Does SS have access to county marriage licenses? Can I scan my marriage license and email or upload the image? Can I snail mail a photocopy of my marriage license? Can I show my marriage license in person at a local SS office?

    • Vonda

      Hi Wynston, thanks for using our blog. All required documents must be either originals or certified copies by the issuing agency. We cannot accept photocopies or notarized copies of documents. All documents will be returned to you. You can call your local Social Security office to ensure you need to submit proof of marriage. Please look for the general inquiry telephone number at the Social Security Office Locator. The number may appear under Show Additional Office Information. Please be aware that our call wait times are longer than normal. We hope this information helps.

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