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1. Overview of the Social Security System

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

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There are 15 Comments

if two people are on disibilty and they want to marry
how does that affect there benifits and how can the find out before getting married

If you get married or divorced, your Social Security benefits may be affected, depending on the kind of benefits you receive. Please see this page on disability benefits for more on this.

Are benefits paid if you move to another country to retire?

can you still work at age 62 while collecting social security benefits? If yes, how much can you make?

If you are younger than full retirement age during all of 2009, Social Security must deduct $1 from your benefits for each $2 you earned above $14,160. It is presumed your full retirement age is 66.

Let us say that you begin receiving Social Security benefits at age 62 in January 2009 and your payment is $600 per month ($7,200 for the year). During the year, you work and earn $20,480 ($6,320 above the $14,160 limit). Social Security would withhold $3,160 of your Social Security benefits ($1 for every $2 you earn over the limit).

See here for details :

What earnings must you have in 2008 to qualify for 4 credits for the year or earnings by quarter to qualify for 1 credit

The amount of earnings required to earn one credit has increased to $1,090 per calendar quarter for 2009 from $1,050 per calendar quarter for 2008.

i am working on a term paper for my medical insurance class, im a student at northwestern community college, and one question for us to find out is
what is the change that will be in effect as of May 2008? pertaining to HIPPA regulations and we had to find the most recent update on this subject on your web page. was unable to find it, if you could please help me with this issue i would greatly appreciate it.

Thank you

Why has my SS check been reduced for the last 2 months. It has always been the same until now

I retired in Jan of 2007. But I will receive "deferred compensation" until 2010. I am 63. Will that deferred compensation affect the amount of social security I would collect IF I apply for benefits now??

Please seek consultations on this, but indications are that deferred compensation would not be subject to the "earnings test".

From :

If you get Social Security and your total yearly earnings exceed the limit and these earnings include a special payment [e.g., deferred compensation], you should contact Social Security. Tell us you think you received a special payment. If we agree, we will not count the amount of the special payment as part of your total earnings for the year.

From :

Further held, such wages [deferred compensation], since wages, since earned prior to retirement, are not subject to the post-retirement work test and thus may not reduce the worker's retirement insurance benefits.

What info do I need from a ex-spouse to collect

The following document is a bit dated (2001), but here's what it lists :

Survivor Benefits Required Documentation

  • Deceased worker’s social security number;
  • Proof of marriage (marriage certificate);
  • Death certificate;
  • Surviving spouse’s primary proof of age;
  • Divorce papers if applicable; and
  • Specific information about the bank account where the Social Security Survivor Benefits will be direct deposited to.

Call SSA at 1-800-772-1213 for details.

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Not affiliated with the US Social Security Administration