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Social Security

Exploring Social Security

Exploring Social Security

Navigating Social Security can be a daunting task but it doesn't have to be, Windsor is here to help. The following link provides useful resources through the official Social Security Administration website, offering all pertinent information regarding Social Security.

Eligibility

Check your eligibility for Social Security benefits.





Questionnaire

Benefits

Check your account to see how much you or your family might receive in benefits payments.




Benefits Estimator

Earnings Records

This tool can help you ensure your reported earnings are accurate, whether they are self-reported or from your employer.



Income Records

Retirement

Here are some helpful calculators to determine healthcare benefits, withholdings, retirement age, and more.


Retirement Calculators

Applying for Social Security

Applying for Social Security is easy and intuitive. Through the Social Security Administration website, you can check your eligibility, find out if it's the right time to apply, or simply learn more about the benefits associated with Social Security to become better informed about the program.

The following are a few reasons you may want to consider applying;

  • Age and retirement.
  • Can't work because of a disability.
  • Lose a spouse (or a young child loses a parent).
  • Have difficulty paying for essentials like food, clothing, and a home.
Apply Now

Marriage Benefits

Even if they have never worked under Social Security, your spouse may be eligible for benefits if they are at least 62 years of age and you are receiving retirement or disability benefits. Your spouse can also qualify for Medicare at age 65.

How Much Will My Spouse Receive?

If your spouse qualifies for benefits on their own record, Social Security will pay that amount first. If the benefit on your record is higher, they will get an additional amount on your record so that the combination of benefits equals that higher amount.

If they begin receiving benefits:

  • Between age 62 and their full retirement age, the amount is permanently reduced by a percentage based on the number of months up to their full retirement age.
  • If your spouse is under full retirement age and:
    - Works while receiving benefits, the retirement earnings test may affect their benefits.
    - Also qualifies on their own record, their application will include both benefits.
    - At their full retirement age, the spouse’s benefit cannot exceed one-half of your full retirement amount.
  • If your spouse was born before January 2, 1954, and has already reached full retirement age, they can choose to receive only the spouse's benefit and delay receiving their own retirement benefit until a later date. If your spouse is full retirement age and applying for spouse’s benefits only, they can apply online by using the retirement application.
  • If your spouse’s birthday is January 2, 1954 or later, the option to take only one benefit at full retirement age no longer exists. If your spouse files for one benefit, they will be effectively filing for all retirement or spousal benefits.
  • If your spouse will receive a pension for work not covered by Social Security such as government employment, the amount of their Social Security benefits on your record may be reduced.

Your spouse can also receive spouse's benefits at any age if they are caring for your child under age 16 or who became disabled before age 22, and is entitled to benefits.
Benefits paid to your spouse will not decrease your retirement benefit. In fact, the value of the benefits they may receive, added to your own, may help you decide if taking your benefits sooner may be more advantageous.

Divorced Spouse Benefits

Both marriage and divorce can have significant effects on short- and long-term life plans, choices, and financial goals. Social Security provides assistance in changing your name and provides Spousal, Survivor, and Family benefits to certain spouses, widows, and divorced spouses and widows based on factors such as age, length of the marriage, and the presence of a disability.

Benefits For Your Divorced Spouse

If you are divorced, your ex-spouse can receive benefits based on your record (even if you have remarried) if:

  • Your marriage lasted 10 years or longer.
  • Your ex-spouse is unmarried.
  • Your ex-spouse is age 62 or older.
  • The benefit that your ex-spouse is entitled to receive based on their own work is less than the benefit they would receive based on your work.
  • You are entitled to Social Security retirement or disability benefits.

How Much Will Your Divorced Spouse Receive

  • If you have not applied for retirement benefits, but can qualify for them, your ex-spouse can receive benefits on your record if you have been divorced for at least two continuous years.
  • If your ex-spouse is eligible for retirement benefits on their own record, we will pay that amount first. If the benefit on your record is higher, they will get an additional amount on your record so that the combination of benefits equals that higher amount.

If Your Ex-Spouse Works

  • If your ex-spouse continues to work while receiving benefits, the same earnings limits apply to them as apply to you. If your ex-spouse is eligible for benefits this year and is also working, you can use our retirement earnings test calculator to see how those earnings would affect those benefit payments.
  • If your ex-spouse will also receive a pension based on work not covered by Social Security, such as government work, their Social Security benefit on your record may be affected.
  • The amount of benefits your divorced spouse gets has no effect on the amount of benefits you or your current spouse may receive.

If You Remarry

  • If you remarry, your ex-spouse will still be eligible for benefits if they meet the requirements.
Learn about Spousal Benefits

Child Benefits

When you qualify for Social Security retirement benefits, your children may also qualify to receive benefits on your record. Your eligible child can be your biological child, adopted child, or stepchild. A dependent grandchild may also qualify.

To receive benefits, the child must:

  • Be unmarried.
  • Be under age 18.
  • Be 18-19 years old and a full-time student (no higher than grade 12).
  • Be 18 or older and disabled from a disability that started before age 22.

Benefits stop when children reach age 18 unless they are disabled. However, if the child is still a full-time student at a secondary (or elementary) school at age 18, benefits will continue until the child graduates or until two months after the child becomes age 19, whichever is first.

Benefits paid for your child will not decrease your retirement benefit. In fact, the value of the benefits they may receive, added to your own, may help you decide if taking your benefits sooner may be more advantageous.

If Your Child Works

If a child on your record works while receiving benefits, the same earnings limits apply to them as apply to you.

If your child is eligible for benefits this year and is also working, you can use our Retirement Earnings Test Calculator to see how those earnings would affect the child's benefit payments.

Planning for Medicare

Planning for Medicare

Most people sign up for Part A (hospital insurance) and Part B (medical insurance) when they're first eligible, typically at age 65.


It's important to sign up promptly to avoid gaps in coverage or late enrollment penalties. However, if you're already covered through an employer group health plan, it might make sense to sign up for Medicare later or delay Part B.


If you are age 65 or older and receive Social Security benefits, you will be automatically enrolled in Part A.


Use the following link for resources related to Medicare including;

  • When to sign up
  • How to apply
  • Medicare benefits
  • Information on all four parts of Medicare (A, B, C, D)