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By Rainier Policarpio
Retirement benefit is the first thing that comes to mind when we talk of social security. The retirement program of the Social Security Administration covers approximately 96% of the entire workforce in the United States. This entitles them to support from the government when they retire from their jobs.
How to qualify for retirement benefits
Primarily, an individual must have worked and paid his social security contributions to earn the credits needed to qualify for retirement benefits. If a person stopped from work before reaching the required number of work credits, he will not be able to get his retirement benefits from the SSA. However, the credits will be kept in the SSA’s records so that you may still augment it if you have decided to continue working. This will give you a chance to be entitled to retirement benefits.
How to calculate the amount of retirement benefits
Usually, retirement benefits are calculated based on the claimant’s amount of earnings during his entire working career. This means that the higher the income a person had, the bigger retirement benefits he can get from the government.
Moreover, the age of retirement is also an important factor in determining the amount that a retiree may receive. The ‘full age of retirement,’ as set by the government, is at 67. However, a worker may opt to retire earlier, but doing this will definitely decrease the amount of his benefits. On the other hand, he may also decide to delay retirement until he reaches the age of 70 in order to increase the said amount.
How to apply for retirement benefits
There are three possible ways to apply for retirement benefits – online, through phone (1-800-772-1213) or filing an application form to the nearest SSA office in person.
These are some of the documents needed:
— Social Security number or ID
— Original copy of birth certificate
— Tax returns
— Military discharge documents (for military personnel)
— Proof of citizenship (for those who were not born in the U.S.)
— Bank account number where the benefits would be directly deposited
Note: The SSA, depending on the situation of the claimant, may require other documents
How to increase the chance of being approved
It is true that a large percentage of retirement claims are being rejected. Thus, it is advisable to hire an experienced Social Security attorney for proper representation. A credible attorney can ease the claimant’s burden in preparing the requirements and following up on his application. In addition, a competent representative has the capability to address the problems that may result in the process of filing.
About the Author: Our LA County Social Security Retirement Benefits Attorney and Social Security Disability Attorneys Los Angeles
are experts about cases involving Social Security retirement program and Social Security Disability Program.