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4 FAQ About Social Security Law

Enacted in 1935, U.S. Social Security law is designed to provide income to retirees, people with disabilities, and their families. According to the National Academy of Social Insurance, approximately  61 million Americans collect monthly Social Security benefits. If you’re planning to be one of them, the commonly asked questions below may be helpful. 

FAQ About Social Security Law

How are Social Security benefits calculated?

Under Social Security law, your benefits are determined by your lifetime earnings, which is reported to the Social Security Administration (SSA) via an official earnings record. The SSA recalculates your benefits each year, figuring in your previous year’s income while also adjusting for inflation.

When can I start collecting retirement benefits?

To receive 100% of your Social Security retirement benefits, you must reach full retirement age (FRA), which is determined by the year you were born. Individuals born between 1943 and 1954, for instance, reach FRA at age 66, while people born between 1956 and 1959 hit FRA at 67. You may apply for benefits as early as age 62; however, your monthly payments will be reduced.

What are the requirements for receiving social security disability (SSD)?

To collect SSD, you must have a verifiable medical condition that is expected to prevent you from working for a least a year. You must also have at least 40 work credits to qualify, 20 of which were earned in the last year. Under Social Security law, you are awarded one credit for each $1,400 of income you earn.

How can I check my Social Security earnings?

The SSA now allows you to review your social security earnings by setting up a free account on its website. In addition to reporting your earnings history, it provides estimates of future benefits and potential disability payments.

For more information about social security law, contact Fitzpatrick, Skemp & Associates, LLC in La Crosse, WI. With more than 100 years of combined experience, they specialize in personal injury, social security disability, and workers’ compensation cases. They’ve won more than $90 million for their clients since the founding of their practice in 1982 and know how to fight for what you deserve. Visit their website to learn more about the team, and call (877) 784-1230 to schedule a consultation today.