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Social Security

Rep answers questions about filing, payments, cards and more

How much will I receive if I qualify for Supplemental Security Income benefits?

The amount of your SSI benefit depends on where you live and how much income you have. The maximum SSI payment varies nationwide. For 2020, the maximum federal SSI payment for an eligible individual is $783 a month and $1,175 a month for an eligible couple. However, many states add money to the basic payment. For more information, go to socialsecurity.gov/ssi.

 

What is the average Social Security retirement payment a person receives each month?

The average monthly Social Security benefit for a retired worker in 2020 is $1,503. The average monthly Social Security benefit for a disabled worker in 2020 is $1,258. As a reminder, eligibility for retirement benefits still requires 40 credits (usually about 10 years of work).

 

I recently applied for a replacement Social Security card, but I might be moving before it arrives in the mail. What should I do if I move before I get it?

Once we have verified all your documents and processed your application, it takes approximately 10 to 14 days for you to receive your replacement Social Security card. If you move after applying for your new card, notify the post office of your change of address, and the post office will forward your card to your new address. If you do not receive your card, contact your local Social Security office. To get a replacement, you will have to resubmit your evidence of identity and U.S. citizenship, or your lawful immigration status and authority to work. You can learn more at socialsecurity.gov.

 

I got married and I need to change my name in Social Security’s records. What do I do?

If you change your name due to marriage or for any other reason, you’ll need to report the change and get a corrected Social Security card with your new name. You will need to fill out Form SS-5. You can get a copy of this form at socialsecurity.gov/ss5doc or by calling our toll-free number 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778). You’ll also need to provide the original marriage certificate showing your new and old names. You can mail or take the documentation to your local Social Security office. In some cases, we may need other forms of documentation as well. For more information, visit socialsecurity.gov/ssnumber.

 

How do I schedule, reschedule, or cancel an appointment with Social Security?

For many things, you don’t need an appointment to transact business with Social Security. For example, you don’t need an appointment to file for benefits or appeal a disability decision. You can file online at socialsecurity.gov for retirement, Medicare, spouses’ and disability benefits.

If you don’t want to apply for benefits online, or if you need to speak to us for any other reason, you can schedule, reschedule, or cancel an appointment by calling 800-772-1213 (TTY 800-325-0778) between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Monday through Friday; or by contacting your local Social Security office.

 

I received an email that says it’s from Social Security, but I’m not so sure. They want me to reply with my Social Security number, date of birth and mother’s maiden name for “verification.” Did it really come from Social Security?

No. Social Security will not send you an email asking you to share your personal information, such as your Social Security number, date of birth or other private information. Beware of such scams — they’re after your information so they can use it for their own benefit. When in doubt, or if you have any questions about correspondence you receive from Social Security, contact your local Social Security office or call 800-772-1213 (TTY 800-325-0778) to see whether we really need any information from you.

 

I've decided I want to retire. Now what do I do?

The fastest and easiest way to apply for retirement benefits is to go to socialsecurity.gov/retireonline. Use our online application to apply for Social Security retirement or spouses’ benefits. To do so, you must be at least 61 years and 9 months old; want to start your benefits in the next four months; and live in the United States or one of its commonwealths or territories.

 

I have never worked outside of the home, but my spouse has. What will my benefits be?

You can be entitled to as much as one-half of your spouse's benefit amount when you reach full retirement age. If you decide to receive Social Security retirement benefits before you reach full retirement age, the amount of your benefit is reduced. The amount of reduction depends on when you will reach full retirement age. For example, if your full retirement age is 66, you can get 35 percent of your spouse's unreduced benefit at age 62 (a permanent reduction); if your full retirement age is 67, you can get 32.5 percent of your spouse's unreduced benefit at age 62 (a permanent reduction).

The amount of your benefit increases if your entitlement begins at a later age, up to the maximum of 50 percent at full retirement age. However, if you are taking care of a child who is under age 16 or who receives Social Security disability benefits on your spouse’s record, you get the full spouse’s benefits, regardless of your age. Learn more about retirement benefits at socialsecurity.gov/retirement.

 

Vonda VanTil is the public affairs specialist for West Michigan. You may write her c/o Social Security Administration, 3045 Knapp NE, Grand Rapids MI 49525, or via email to vonda.vantil@ssa.gov.  

 

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