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LawTalk, Attorney
Category: Social Security
Satisfied Customers: 34913
Experience:  I have 30 years of legal and litigation experience, including representing clients before the U.S. Social Security Administration.
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I was told that I could have started collecting ss from january

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I was told that I could have started collecting ss from january of my full retirement year as long as I didn't make over $40,000, I was told this in july of this year by someone that works at a ss office and he told me that I could collect back to january of this year. is that true. I just signed up today and I was told no to january and that my benefits start in august of this year

Good afternoon Ralph,

I'm Doug, and I'm sorry to hear of the confusion. My goal is to provide you with excellent service today. In order to give you a clear and concise answer, I will need some additional information about the circumstances, please.

1. What month this year do you/did you turn 66?


Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I turn 66 in September of this year

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

September of this year

Good afternoon Ralph,

That is what I suspected.

Whoever told you that you could have started to take your benefit in January and you could also have earned up to $40,000---well it is actually $40,080.00---was correct. But what they perhaps didn't tell you was that by taking your benefit 9 months early, you would lose a full 5% of your full retirement benefit for the rest of your life. Your full benefit is only payable after you have reached 66, not as of January of the year you will turn 66.

And, in terms of apply for retroactive retirement benefits---while there is a program whereby you can receive up to 6 months retroactive benefits---that only applies if you are over full retirement age when you apply for retroactive benefits, and the retroactive benefits cannot be paid past your 66th birthday. The retroactive benefit program only works if you have waited past your 66th birthday to sign up for your benefit---and then you may seek retroactive benefits back to your 66 birthday, or up to 6 months, whichever is less.

Finally, if you have made arrangements to have your benefits start in August, then you will be taking a two month early benefit and you will lose a little over 1% of your full retirement benefit for the rest of your life.

Social security benefits are paid one month after they are earned, and so if you were to want to wait until your full retirement age to start your benefits and get your full retirement benefit, your benefit would not actually begin to be paid to you until October of this year.

You may reply back to me again, using the Reply to Expert link, if you have additional questions.

I wish you the best in your future,


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