One of the primary functions of the Social Security program in the United States is to provide livable income to people who have worked hard their whole lives and wish to enjoy a pleasant retirement. While there is obviously a certain age in which a person can retire, there is also a little known timeline of steps that a person can go through at an earlier age to make the most of Social Security retirement benefits when the time comes to actually retire. This short guide will give you a good insight into this timeline to help ease some of your retirement worries.
Age 50 is actually the earliest age in which a person can begin to collect Social Security benefits, but it is only in specific situations. Firstly, the individual must be a widow or widower of a person who worked enough to qualify for benefits before he or she passed away. Secondly, the individual must have contracted a disability that prevents him or her from working, such as a physical injury, that was contracted within at most seven years of the spouse’s death. While this scenario is one that no one wants to find his or herself in, it does provide relief to those who face this kind of tragedy.
At age 60, a person who is a widow or widower may begin collecting retirement benefits from the Social Security program. At this age, having a disability is not a prerequisite. When a person turns 62, he or she may begin collecting partial Social Security benefits. Although the dollar amount will be smaller than if he or she is older, the money can still be gained. Keep in mind however that if a person begins collecting at this age, it will permanently reduce the amount received. At age 66, a person reaches full retirement age and therefore can begin collecting benefits without any concern or other stipulations.
If you are an older person or one afflicted with one of the aforementioned circumstances, then you can certainly begin to apply for Social Security benefits. If your application is rejected, you can and should appeal it, in which you will need a proficient attorney to help you through the appeals process. To learn more about our expertise with the Social Security program and navigating pitfalls in it, please call the Franco Law Firm at (813) 872-0929.