Today’s Social Security column discusses how continuing to work increases your retirement rate, how survivor benefits are calculated, and how non-U.S. citizens get U.S. Social Security benefits. Address questions about eligibility. Larry Kotlikoff is a professor of economics at Boston University and founder and president of Economic Security Planning, Inc.
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Do you have a Social Security question you would like answered? Ask Larry about Social Security here.
Why hasn’t my Social Security retirement rate increased yet?
Hi Larry, I have been working part time since retiring at age 65 and my social security benefits have not been recalculated. I haven’t earned over the cap and have paid SSA taxes for about 7 years. I quit this part-time job two years ago due to the new coronavirus, but I haven’t recalculated yet.thank you george
Hi George, Social Security retirement benefits are based on a maximum 35-year average of Social Security covered wage index earnings. than you did in over a year out of the 35 years currently used to calculate your benefit rate.
If you believe you have earned enough to increase your benefits, you can submit a written and signed request to Social Security to have your benefit rate recalculated. A suitable form to use for that purpose is Form SSA-795, which can be mailed to your local Social Security office.
Consider using my company’s software — Maximize My Social Security or MaxiFi Planner — to help your family get the best lifetime benefits. Social Security calculators provided by other companies or non-profit organizations may provide suitable suggestions if they are carefully crafted. Our software can also verify the correct benefit amount to ensure that you are not being paid too little or too much, which can lead to potential clawbacks due to Social Security overpayments.Best, Larry
What portion of the spouse’s amount can I receive if one of my spouse dies?
My husband and I both received full Social Security retirement benefits.If one of us dies, what portion of our spouse’s benefit rate will we receive and will we continue to receive our own full benefits? Thanks, Ralph
Hi Ralph, Based on your description, the surviving spouse will receive the higher of the two benefit rates. Only spouses with higher benefits will receive it. In that case, the only survivor benefit payable would be her one-time death benefit of $255.
However, if the higher-benefit spouse dies first, the surviving spouse continues to receive his or her own benefits plus survivor benefits equal to the difference between the two benefit rates. As a result, the surviving spouse will receive joint benefits equal to the senior spouse’s full amount.Best, Larry
Am I eligible for US Social Security benefits?
Hi Larry, I am an Indigenous Canadian citizen and have a US Social Security number from my time in California many years ago. Am I eligible for US Social Security benefits?I am she 66 years old.
Hi Niimi, You are only eligible for a US Social Security pension if you have worked US Social Security taxes long enough and have insurance for your benefits. Usually, to get insurance, she needs at least 40 quarters (QC), or about 10 years of Social Security covered work.
However, if you have six or more U.S. QCs, work in the Canadian Pension Program and make payments for a period of time sufficient to be insured based on the combined credits of the two countries, your total benefits will be You may be eligible to receive money.
However, if you have less than six U.S. QCs, the only way to qualify for U.S. Social Security benefits is based on your spouse, former spouse, parent, or deceased U.S. Social Security contributor status. and are eligible for assistance or survivor benefits. child.Best, Larry
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