Understanding Social Security Benefits in 2020

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If you receive Social Security benefits, or if you’re about to, you’re in for some good news. 2020 looks brighter with the annual changes that have been announced by the Social Security Administration (SSA) for the coming year. If you need help understanding your benefits, speaking to an attorney who focuses on such matters could be a great idea!

Rate Increase

If you’re one of the 67 million recipients of Social Security, you’ll be happy to know that your monthly check will go up by nearly three percent in 2020. That’s right, the annual cost of living adjustment (COLA) rose by 2.8 percent, for an average increase of nearly $40 per month. It’s no landslide, but every dollar helps, right?  For those collecting Social Security Disability benefits, there has also been an increase of between $40-$70 per month, depending on circumstances.

At What Age Should I Start Collecting Benefits?

When it comes to when to start collecting a Social Security check, there are a number of factors to consider. Depending on the year in which you were born, the age at which you have the option to collect is different. The absolute youngest some people can collect partial benefits is age 62. For individuals living on a shoestring, that income is desperately needed and it may be a good idea to file for benefits immediately, even though the eligible amount will be less for the duration of the benefit (70 percent of the sum provided at full retirement age). Waiting until full retirement age will produce a significantly higher benefit. It’s important to note that if you can afford to wait to collect benefits even longer, until age 70, the monthly benefits are over 75 percent higher. It’s something to consider.

Currently, individuals who turned 62 during 2019 cannot fully retire until they become 66 and four months old. The retirement age increases by two months for every year after that, making retirement at age 67 for those born in 1960 or later.

Can I Continue to Work and Collect Social Security Benefits?

If you are just reaching full retirement age in 2019, and you are continuing to work, it’s worth noting the restrictions on earnings. While you can continue to be employed while collecting Social Security, there are limits on potential earnings. For individuals who earn just under $47,000, there is no penalty. But for every $3 over the earnings limit that is earned prior to reaching full retirement age in that year, there is a corresponding $1 reduction in Social Security benefits. After full retirement age, benefits will resume to the normal amount.

Are You Confused?

If thinking about Social Security gives you a headache, you’re not alone. The SSA is a huge, unwieldy organization, and figuring out the best path forward can be a daunting task. That’s why the Jackson Social Security benefits attorneys at the office of Derek L. Hall, PC are here to help. Let us walk you through the maze of the SSA and get you the benefits you deserve. Contact our Jackson office today for a free, confidential consultation.

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