You may need social security when you least expect it, and we are here to ensure that our information is always available to you. Whether you are planning your retirement years in advance or considering applying today, you probably have questions.
Our website with frequently asked questions faq.ssa.gov have answers to your questions about our programs and services. We have our most frequently asked questions at the top of the page to help you quickly find answers to the most common questions, such as:
• What should I do if I receive a call from a person claiming to be a social security employee?
• How do I change or correct my name on my social security number card?
• How do I apply for a new or replacement number card?
• How can I get a social security statement showing my earnings and an estimate of my future benefits?
You can also browse for topics like:
• Social security payments.
We also have a publication library at www.ssa.gov/pubs with information on many topics. And we deliver every publication in text, audio and downloadable formats.
Q: I am trying to figure out the best time to retire based on my future earnings. How can I calculate my own pension estimate?
ONE: We suggest that you use our pension assessment on www.ssa.gov/estimator. Our pension assessment produces estimates based on your actual social security earnings, so it’s a personal, immediate picture of your future estimated benefit. You can also use it to test different retirement scenarios based on what age you decide to start with benefits. For example, you can find out your estimated monthly payments if you retire at 62, 70, or any age in between. Try it now at www.ssa.gov/estimator.
Q: My cousin and I are both retired and receiving social security. We worked for the same employer for years, but he gets a higher social security benefit. Why?
ONE: Your payments are based on your earnings over your lifetime. Unless you are both of the same age, started and stopped working on the exact same dates and earned the same amount every year of your career, you would not get the same benefit as your cousin. Social benefits are based on many years of earnings – generally your highest 35 years. To learn more about social security retirement benefits, visit www.ssa.gov/benefits.
This column has been prepared by the Social Security Administration. For quick answers to specific social security questions, contact Social Security toll free at 800-772-1213 or visit www.socialsecurity.gov.