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Entitlement to Retirement Insurance Benefit

Excerpted from "Social Security Handbook". See the up-to-date, official Social Security Handbook at

301. Entitlement to Retirement Insurance Benefit

301.1 When are you entitled to retirement insurance benefits?

You are entitled to retirement insurance benefits if you:

  1. Are at least age 62 throughout your first month of entitlement and are fully insured; and

  2. Have filed an application for retirement insurance benefits.

If you met the requirements in (A) above before the month you filed the application, you may be entitled to retirement insurance benefits back to the first month in which you met those requirements. There are certain limitations, as explained in §1513.

301.2 When Is It NOT Necessary to File an Application?

You do not need to file an application if you are entitled to disability insurance benefits the month before the month you reach retirement age. The disability insurance benefit ends and the retirement insurance benefit begins automatically.

(See §346 for a special monthly cash payment for certain uninsured persons age 72 or older.)

Last Revised: March, 2001

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