Last updated 2 days 14 hours ago
The current fiscal climate is causing many to question the current state of the U.S. Social Security system. Between the government shutdown and delayed federal budgets, it may sometimes be hard to figure out the rules of retirement. This article offers an overview of what you need to know about Social Security:
The Social Security system has adequate funding at the moment, so you can take early retirement benefits if you choose. The Social Security Administration allows qualified individuals to begin Social Security retirement benefits as early as age 62. However, a beneficiary will receive about 25% less each month if they begin payouts early.
Depending on income and FICA tax levels, each American can collect full Social Security benefits at a certain age. Individuals born before 1937 have a full retirement age of 65. However, all those born after that date must wait a bit longer before they can collect 100% of their Social Security. For instance, Americans born after 1960 must wait until age 67 if they hope to avoid decreases in their benefits.
Some individuals may choose to work past their “full” retirement age. This is often a prudent financial choice for those with the physical ability and desire to continue working. If an individual chooses to delay receiving Social Security benefits for several years, he or she can increase the eventual retirement check by as much as 8%. In many cases, this can lead to an increase of several thousands dollars per year for the rest of a retiree’s life.
Retirement planning is filled with legal rules and regulations; fortunately, the lawyers at Dixon & Johnston, P.C. can help solve your toughest Social Security challenges. If you want advice about how and when to file for benefits in Missouri or Illinois, call (618) 207-3770 to schedule an appointment with our experienced team.
Last updated 5 days ago
News headlines during the last several years have heralded the end of Social Security. This video explains that these concerns are overblown, and that the system will be in good shape for at least the next two decades. These facts are important for the baby boomer generation, members of which are soon heading into retirement.
The Social Security system currently has a 2.5 trillion dollar surplus, which will increase to 3.5 trillion in the coming years. The video notes that without any reforms, the system will continue to be in good shape until at least 2035, at which point it will only be able to pay for 75% of the new retirees.
Individuals retiring in the next decade should understand when and how to begin collecting Social Security benefits. If you live in the St. Louis or Belleville areas and want to speak to a skilled lawyer about your specific situation, dial (618) 207-3770 to schedule a free initial appointment with Dixon & Johnston, P.C.
Last updated 14 days ago
Americans who have paid into the Social Security system have a right to receive benefits. If you are improperly denied those benefits, the government is required to let you exercise due process under the U.S. Constitution and challenge the rejection. In the Social Security context, this means appealing a wrongfully denied claim and having your day in court.
The Social Security Administration (SSA) offers Supplemental Security Income applicants several ways to appeal. First, applicants can request a “reconsideration,” where a different SSA reviewer looks at the application to make sure it was not wrongfully denied. Then, applicants can appeal their case to a special SSA judge. If the judge does not rule in their favor, applicants can petition a special appeals council or federal court.
The attorneys at Dixon & Johnston, P.C. know how to effectively appeal Social Security claims. If your application was unfairly denied, call our St. Louis-area office at (618) 207-3770 to discuss your legal options. We may be able to help you receive benefits through reconsideration or judicial appeal.
Last updated 17 days ago
This video from the Social Security Administration explains government rules that encourage disabled individuals to re-enter the workplace. Americans collecting SSDI automatically receive a nine-month trial period, during which they can work and earn money while still receiving monthly benefits and Medicare.
If an individual must stop working during this period, their benefits are not affected. However, if someone decides to continue working past the ninth month, his or her checks will be decreased or stop coming during the period of employment.
Disability insurance is full of unique rules. The lawyers at Dixon & Johnston, P.C. have decades of experience helping clients receive the benefits they deserve. If the government has denied or cut off your benefits, call us at (618) 207-3770 to see if we can appeal the claim.
Last updated 23 days ago
As with many questions surrounding finances and divorce, the answer to this question is: “it depends.” The intersection of retirement planning and family law is full of exceptions and regulations; individuals should consult a local Social Security attorney to get answers to their unique questions. Here is a short overview of the most common ways divorce affects Social Security:
If a couple splits up after many years of marriage but before age 60, one spouse may not always be entitled to benefits from the other spouse. However, if a couple has been married for at least 10 years and they split up after age 60, a dependent spouse may be entitled to a share of his or her spouse’s retirement or disability benefits. Generally, a divorcee can receive up to one-half his or her ex-spouse’s full retirement benefits so long as he or she begins collecting these benefits after age 65.
An individual’s decision to remarry after divorce can also change his or her benefits status. For instance, if you divorced after 60 and your former spouse has remarried but your have not, you may still collect up to half his or her benefits. However, if you remarry but your spouse does not, you may not collect your former spouse’s benefits, and he or she may collect a portion of yours if yours is higher.
The above guidelines only apply to individuals whose retirement benefits under Supplemental Security Income (SSI) would be very low if assessed on their own work records. This is often the case for spouses who worked inside the home. But if an individual spent the last decade in the workplace, his or her own SSI benefits may be greater than 50% of a former spouse’s check.
Dixon & Johnston, P.C. is a law firm whose attorneys handle both divorce and Social Security issues. If you need advice regarding your unique divorce, marriage, and benefits situation, call out team today at (618) 207-3770. We offer free initial consultations for all first-time clients.