Social Security is a government system that provides monetary support to retirees and some people with disabilities. The program funds itself through payroll taxes, or money paid into the system that’s taken out of your paycheck every month while you’re working.
Here are five common Social Security questions and their answers.
1. When am I eligible to receive benefits?
When you can start receiving benefits depends on when you were born. The full retirement age (FRA) is gradually moving to 67, but you can begin receiving benefits as early as 62. To find your FRA, refer to the chart below.
If you decide to receive benefits early, your lifetime benefits will be permanently reduced based on how many months early you begin receiving benefits. For example, if you begin receiving benefits at 65, you will only get 86.7 percent of your benefits because you’re collecting 24 extra months.
2. Can I receive Social Security if I’m still working?
In short, yes. However, your benefits may be reduced depending on how much money you make and how old you are.
For 2018, you can earn up to $17,040 ($1,420 per month) without your benefits being reduced. For every $2 over that limit, your benefits will be reduced by $1 if you have not yet reached your FRA. Once you have reached your FRA, there is no limit to how much you can earn while still receiving benefits.
3. How can I replace a Social Security card that was lost or stolen?
You can easily apply for a replacement Social Security card online on your my Social Security account. To apply online, you must be a US citizen, at least 18 years old, have a valid driver’s license or state-issued ID, and not be requesting any changes to your card.
4. Will my Social Security benefits be taxed?
If Social Security is your only income, your benefits may not be taxed. Additionally, you may not need to file income taxes. If you receive income from other sources, including savings, you may have to pay taxes on some of your benefits.
5. How can I estimate my future benefits?
You can estimate your future benefits by using Social Security’s retirement estimator.