If a long-term illness or injury significantly affects your ability to continue working, then applying for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) may be the only way to support yourself financially. Supplemental Security Income (or SSI) is a cash benefit paid by the Social Security Administration for the elderly (who are legally considered 65 years or older), blind or disabled depending on the needs and People who have limited income and limited resources.
You will also need to provide Social Security with an original or certified copy of your birth certificate, your last earnings documents (W-2, last pay stub, statement of your employer, etc.) and copies (keep the originals) of any medical records you may be able to obtain.
Applying for these benefits (Online, through phone, or personally) should be done no more than three months prior to the date you want to receive your benefits on. Keep your social security card, tax return receipt, birth certificate, and citizenship proof ready.
Using the File and suspend strategy, the wife collects half of her spouse’s Social Security for four years (at age 66) allowing her own benefit to grow by 8% each year until she starts collecting her own benefit at age 70. The husband’s benefit was not affected at all by his spouse claiming on his benefit during those four years and his benefit also increased 8% each year as he delayed commencing benefits until his age 70.
Based on the above, as the law currently stands as of the publishing of this article, you can collect monthly SS benefits as a retiree starting as early as age 62, and as late as age 70. As a matter of fact, currently deferring your Social Security monthly benefit beyond your Full Retirement Age, can yield an additional 8% of monthly benefit per year to your SS check, up to the age of 70. If you elect to start collecting your benefits prior to your Full Retirement Age (specified to you on the Social Security Administration website), your monthly benefit amount will be reduced from your Full Retirement Age amount by a “factor” determined by the Social Security Administration.