Social Security FAQs With Your Chicago Social Security Disability Lawyer

lawyer with a book Chicago Social Security Disability LawyerWhen discussing your case, your Chicago Social Security disability lawyer may go over some of the most frequently asked questions about Social Security. Social Security is a pay-as-you-go retirement insurance plan.

This plan is administered by the federal government and is available to those who are of retirement age. The Social Security program also has a benefit designated for those who become disabled.

How Does the Social Security Program Work?

Social Security is designed to provide you with retirement benefits. During the time that you work, Social Security taxes are taken from your paycheck and contributed to this fund. Then, upon retirement, you can apply for benefits and receive a monthly benefits check. There are many considerations to take when applying for Social Security benefits.

The younger you are when you apply for benefits, the less income you will have each month. Depending on your birth year, you may not be eligible for full retirement benefits until you are 66, 67, or 70. You can apply earlier, as young as 62, but your overall payments will be significantly reduced.

Social Security Disability Insurance

Your Chicago Social Security disability lawyer will explain to you the difference between disability and retirement benefits. Social Security disability is an insurance program designed to help provide financial support for those who are disabled or become disabled. There are several qualifications to meet to enter into this program. Your Chicago Social Security disability lawyer will carefully review your case and determine if you meet all of these qualifications.

Who Is Eligible to Collect Social Security Benefits?

If you were born after 1929, you need to have at least 40 work credits to claim Social Security benefits. This is equal to 10 full years of employment. One credit is equal to one quarter of a year. When you apply for retirement benefits, the Social Security Administration will look over your previous 35 year work history to determine the full amount of your benefits. Disability qualifications are not the same as retirement benefits.

Your Chicago Social Security disability lawyer will explain to you what credits are needed to claim disability payments. In some cases, if the person that becomes disabled is a minor or has only recently entered the work force, the credits of their parents can be used to claim disability payments. It is very important to discuss these qualifications with your attorney. There are a few exceptions to this rule for retirement or disability payments. People who fall under the following categories have different qualifications to receive benefits. These categories include:

  • Government employees
  • Military personnel
  • Farm laborers
  • Household employees
  • Nonprofit employees

When Can Someone Begin to Collect Social Security Benefits?

You can begin to collect Social Security retirement benefits as early as age 62. However, taking your benefits at this early of an age will greatly reduce your monthly compensation amount. Normal retirement age varies based on your birth year. If you were born before 1938, your retirement age is 65. If you were born between the years of 1938 and 1959, your full retirement age is 66. For those born in 1960 and on, full retirement age is 67. You can delay payments also. By delaying collecting benefits until the age of 70, you can increase the amount of benefits that you receive each month.

Your Chicago Social Security disability lawyer will explain, however, that there are not any age requirements associated with Social Security disability payments. You can collect these payments at any age that you become disabled. It should be noted, however, that you cannot collect both types of insurance. If you are collecting disability payments when you reach your full retirement age, your disability will transfer over to retirement benefits.

Applying for Social Security Benefits

When you reach retirement age, you do not automatically begin to receive retirement benefits from the Social Security office. You will have to apply for these benefits and it will take time for them to be processed. Most people go to the Social Security office a month before they reach their retirement age to begin the application process for benefits. The Social Security office will require extensive documentation from you to confirm your identity and your work history.

You will also be required to provide a bank account for your benefits to be deposited in each month because the Social Security Administration has changed over to electronic benefit payments. Applying for Social Security disability payments is a separate process. This process entails many forms to be prepared and requires documentation surrounding your disability, your medical care, and your work history. There are many deadlines that must be met to keep the process going, and many people are denied benefits because they failed to fill out all of the paperwork or meet these deadlines.

If you are applying for disability benefits, it is always in your best interest to seek assistance from a Chicago Social Security disability lawyer.

How Much Will I Receive in Benefits Each Month?

Your benefits will be based on your income and contributions over the last 35 years of your employment. In many cases, the Social Security office will use the last 10 years of employment as their basis for determining the benefits. In addition to your contributions, they will also take into account the amount of years you were in the workforce and the age that you decided to apply for benefits. In some cases, spouses or ex-spouses may use some of the credits of their spouse to maximize their benefits. Certain qualifications apply.

How Can I Maximize My Social Security Retirement Benefits?

The Social Security Administration will look over your last 40 years of work history and will base your benefits on the top 35 years of income. To maximize your benefits, you should strive to earn more money each year so that you can make larger contributions to the fund. Of course, there are other ways that you can help maximize your benefits such as delaying retirement as long as possible. Taking benefits at age 62 can cut your benefit amount by almost half.

However, delaying your retirement until age 70 can greatly increase your monthly income. It is very important that you take all of these things into consideration before you apply for your benefits because it will not change once your benefits have been established. Spouses and ex-spouses can also claim up to 50 percent of their spouse’s earnings if this will help them generate a higher income base.

For an ex-spouse to do this, they must have been married for a minimum of 10 years and they must have been divorced for no less than two years before applying for benefits. This will not impact the other spouse in any way.

Can I Work and Collect Social Security Benefits?

If you begin to collect retirement benefits before your full retirement age, there is a limit on how much income you can earn each year before it impacts your benefits. Under these conditions, any money that you make over $14,160.00 per year will impact your benefits. For every $2.00 you earn over this amount, $1.00 will be deducted from your benefits.

The allowable income after your full retirement age changes each year, and you will need to verify this information yearly. If you are receiving disability benefits, you should speak to your attorney before becoming employed for any amount of income.

Is Social Security Going Bankrupt?

Social Security is struggling, but it is very doubtful that it will entirely disappear. It is important, however, for everyone to make additional financial plans for their retirement. In the future, it would not be unforeseen that Social Security benefits will be greatly reduced because of the current strain on the system.

Contact a Chicago Social Security Disability Lawyer

If you need to apply for Social Security disability payments, it is always in your best interest to seek the advice of an attorney. The benefit system can be very complicated and frustrating, and many people simply give up on trying to qualify for the benefits they are entitled to receive when they are disabled.

Contact us today to have your Social Security disability case reviewed for free. You do not have to face the battle with the Social Security Administration alone. Speak to a Chicago Social Security disability lawyer today about your case.