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How are claims processed by the Social Security office?

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

105. How are claims processed by the Social Security office?

We make most decisions on the non-disability issues. We send completed retirement and survivors insurance claims to the appropriate program service center for spot review and, in some cases, for final processing. We keep SSI claims files in our field offices and later ship them to the Folder Staging Operations Center at the Wilkes-Barre Data Operations Center.

If a disability decision is involved, we forward the claim in accordance with the procedure in §116.

Last Revised: Jun. 30, 2004


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Common Mistakes About Social Security

A recent poll found about half of respondents made mistakes on the following :

1. Retirement benefits will not be reduced if I claim at age 65 => FALSE. Full retirement age is rising.

2. A spouse can receive Social Security even if they have no earnings history => TRUE

3. If my spouse dies, that will have no effect on my Social Security payment => FALSE

4. Social Security benefits depend only on my earnings history, not when I claim => FALSE

Four Common Social Security Claiming Mistakes

1. Not knowing your full retirement age (FRA). 'Full benefit' retirement age is rising beyond age 65 to age 67.

2. Not knowing you can file for benefits three months in advance of receiving income

3. Forgetting Social Security benefits can be subject to income tax.

4. Thinking early filers can later receive 'full benefits'. If filing early, your benefits are permanently reduced.


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