How to acquire your first social security check
How to acquire your first social security check

How to acquire your first social security check

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Social Security promises a lifelong payout of pension benefits based on your earnings. Still, social security checks do not magically start showing up at your doorstep as soon as you retire. In fact, it can take some work to figure out exactly how social security works and what to do to get your first check. Here’s a quick step-by-step guide so you have the tools you need to initiate your Social Security retirement payments.

Find out: 10 Reasons Why You Should Require Social Security Early
See: The biggest problems facing social security

Step 1: Determine your eligibility

You do not automatically qualify for social security just because you retire. First, you need to be in the right age group. You can claim pension benefits from social security as early as 62 years or as late as 70 years. Full retirement age, for those born in 1960 or later, is 67 years. If you claim benefits before your full retirement age, your monthly payment will be permanently reduced, by as much as 35% if you claim 62 years. If you wait until after your full retirement age, your monthly benefits will increase by 8% per year if you were born in 1943 or later.

In addition to the age requirement, you must qualify for social security based on your income. The Social Security Administration requires 40 “quarters of coverage” in order for you to qualify for retirement benefits. The amount you must earn to qualify for a quarter of the coverage varies over time based on inflation. In 2022, the required earnings for a quarter of the coverage are $ 1,510.

Step 2: Prepare your documentation

To claim your first Social Security check, you must prove you are qualified and present this information to the Social Security Administration. You must also provide additional financial and identifying information. According to SSA, you should prepare these documents before applying for your first Social Security check:

  • Your CPR number

  • Your date and place of marriage, including for previous marriages

  • Dates of U.S. military service and branches, if applicable

  • Names and dates of your employers for the last two years

  • If you are self-employed, your type of business and self-employed income

  • Bank details for where you want your checks deposited directly

  • Any information about family members that may be eligible for benefits based on your Social Security journal

You may need to provide additional information, such as your most recent W-2s or tax return, proof of your age (such as a birth certificate), a copy of your military service papers if you served before 1968, and proof of citizenship if you were not born. in USA.

Also read: How much should you have in your pension fund at the age of 30, 40, 50 and 60 years

Step 3: Apply online at the Social Security Administration website

The Social Security Administration prefers that you apply for your benefits online. Generally, you can also choose to visit an SSA office, but they are all currently closed. You can still call SSA for assistance. You can apply up to four months before you want to start your social benefits.

The steps to complete an online application with SSA are relatively straightforward:

  1. Go to the “Apply for Benefits” page on the SSA website here.

  2. Read and accept the terms of service, then click “Next”.

  3. Review the “Get Ready” section so you are ready to move on.

  4. Click “Start a new application.”

  5. Identify yourself according to the questions on the application.

  6. Either log in or create a new mySocialSecurity account.

  7. Fill out the application.

You can save your application if you are not able to complete it all at once. When you have finished, you will be asked to sign the application electronically.

Step 4: Be ready to provide any follow-up information

Once you have applied, SSA will review your responses. If part of your application is incomplete or needs clarification, SSA will contact you directly, so be on the lookout for any further requests. Failure to respond promptly may result in rejection of your application.

Step 5: Understand when social security pension benefits are paid

If everything checks out and the SSA determines that you are eligible for payments, your first check will be on its way soon. The exact time of your payout depends on when you applied and when you need to pay your payments. For example, if you applied four months before you turned 62, wait until you reach the minimum retirement age before your payments begin. Then your payments will be made in the month after they fall due. For example, if you have a payment to you in December, it will be paid to you in January.

The specific date of your payment will depend on your date of birth, as follows:

  • Date of birth the 1st to the 10th of the month: payment on the 2nd Wednesday of each month

  • Date of birth the 11th to the 20th of the month: payment on the 3rd Wednesday of each month

  • Date of birth the 21st to the 31st of the month: payment on the 4th Wednesday of each month

Please note that under federal law, all Social Security payments must be made electronically. You can choose one of two options when filling out your application: either direct deposit to your bank account or to a Direct Express® Debit Mastercard®.

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This article was originally published on GOBankingRates.com: How to acquire your first social security check

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