The Social Security Act of 1935 established a nationwide safety-net for seniors and persons with disabilities. Rules for these benefit programs are complicated and complex. ADRC is here to help.
Preparing For or Considering Retirement
Create a Social Security Account anytime
You pay into social security during your working life to provide you with a retirement benefit. No matter your age, every working person should set up an online account. It’s a good idea to start gathering information long before you retire. A social security account allows you to track and verify your earnings over the years while you are working. It will help you decide how much to contribute to your company’s retirement plan if you have one and/or Individual Retirement Accounts (IRA).
The Social Security Website www.ssa.gov is the place to create your account. Once you retire or if you become disabled this is the place to apply for and manage your benefits. It allows you to change your address, start or change direct deposit, etc.
When can I apply?
Anyone aged 62 through 70 who has earned enough work credits to be eligible can apply. What age you start benefits is an important consideration as benefits are reduced if taken before your “full retirement age”. Full retirement age depends on your date of birth and may be between age 66 and 67. If you don’t have enough work credits, or had lower earnings than your spouse, there may be the potential to collect on the earnings of your spouse. Working while taking benefits is also a consideration. It’s complicated and very individual. Many questions can be answered at www.ssa.gov, or talk to your Financial Planner.
Considering Applying for Disability Social Security Benefits?
Social Security disability is complicated and the decision to apply can be very overwhelming. There are some important things to know that can help you with this decision. Remember that Social Security does not approve claims for people with a partial or short-term disability. Federal law requires that to be approved for disability, your physical and/or mental conditions prevent you from performing any type of substantial gainful employment for at least one year or that your condition will result in death. There are two programs explained below. A person may be eligible for one or both of these programs. While the non-medical criteria is different for each program, the medical evaluation criteria is the same.
All applications are processed first at the local office.
Social Security Administration (SSA), 1561 Dousman Street, Green Bay
Call 1-888-862-4811 to request a phone or office appointment.
You can also file the application online by going to www.ssa.gov.
What Types of Benefits are Available?
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)
Once approved SSDI eligibility is based on “work credits” which are earned based on your work history. If you are not covered based on your own work activity you might be able to file based on a deceased spouse or a parent who is deceased or retired. SSDI approval requires that your disability started while you were still ‘insured’ for SSDI. Your insured status runs out about five years after you stop working at substantial levels.
Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
SSI gives cash assistance to people with limited income and resources who are age 65 or older, blind or disabled. Children with disabilities can get SSI, too. In order to qualify for SSI, a person must have income and assets under amounts designated annually by Social Security Administration.
ADRC Benefit Specialist Advocate for You
Disability Benefit Specialists work with individuals under 60 who have a disability. Disability Benefit Specialists can help with forms received after an initial application is submitted through SSA and they may be able to help file an appeal after an initial denial or a cessation decision is made for someone who had been receiving benefits.
Elder Benefit Specialists work with individuals age 60 and older. Under certain circumstances, Elder Benefit Specialists may be able to help file an initial application for SSDI benefits. They also may be able to help with paperwork after an initial application has been filed with the local SSA office.
Call a Benefits Specialist today to discuss your specific situation.