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Social Security Benefits Amount

Whether you are now receiving or will be receiving Social Security because of a disability, retirement, or survivor rights, many questions arise as to what an individual’s Social Security Benefits amount might be. Uncertainties of how the benefits are calculated or how reductions are implemented often lead to questions like the ones answered below.

If a married couple is both getting Social Security and one dies; does the surviving spouse get the larger amount of their Social Security benefits amount?

The surviving spouse will get the benefit that is larger. There is an exception, however. If the remaining spouse is under full retirement age then the benefit will be reduced by 1/2% for each month that they are younger than full retirement age. For example if they are 64 years old and full retirement is 66 years old then the benefit will be reduced by 12%.

I have Social Security benefit money because my mom died when I was young. My parents now won’t let me have possession of the money that is in trust. How can I get control of it?

As the beneficiary you have certain rights. One being you have the right to know what the terms of the trust are. Some terms can include: money must be used for college, or you can’t have access to it until a certain age etc. You need to ask your parents to see the trust. If they refuse to show it to you, then you can take them to court and force them to produce it. Also if you know what bank the trust is being held, you can go to the bank and ask them for possession of the account, if the terms of the trust are indeed being met.

If someone is 18 years old, still in high school, and receives Social Security Benefits because their father died, can they have control of their Social Security Benefit check to spend as they wish?

Typically benefits stop when the child turns 18 years old however, in most cases the exceptions are if the child is still a student or disabled. In the case that the person is 18 years or older, regardless of whether they are still in school or not, the choice on how they spend their Social Security Benefit check is up to them legally.

Do I have to pay taxes on my Social Security Benefits amount?

If an individual does not have any other income except social security then that individual is not required to file a tax return. If an individual does have other income besides social security like pensions, annuities, etc. then that individual may have to file a return. The total amount of your income including your social security benefits amount would need to be $32,000 or more if filed jointly to be mandated to file a tax return. You would simply enter your Social Security benefits amount on the Social Security tax worksheet. The correct numbers get transferred then to the 1040 tax form.

I am a FERS (Federal Employee’s Retirement System) employee with the USPS. I am 56 years old. Can I take a reduced social security benefit at age 62?

You would be able to apply for reduced benefits at the age of 62. Federal services where Social Security taxes are withheld, your FERS program, will not reduce your Social Security benefits amount. However, if you retire with FERS supplement and choose to go back into the workforce while retired, then your FERS supplement will be subject to the same Social Security earnings rule. If you were to receive your supplement and then earn more than $14,160 a year, you would have to pay back $1 for every $2 dollars you earn surpassing the limit.

Having the right information about Social Security programs can alleviate some concerns when faced with questions regarding Social Security benefit amounts. Experts can help answer questions about Social Security benefit amounts or what age a child stops getting benefits. Get the answers fast and affordably by asking an Expert.

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