Five Mistakes to Avoid in Your Social Security Benefits Claim
Social security benefits can help a lot in retirement, especially if you are no longer employed. You are eligible to receive benefits as long as you have paid into the Social security system.
The problem, however, is that the claim process is not so straightforward. There is a high possibility of a few mistakes delaying or damaging your chances of approval.
Knowing these mistakes can help you avoid them.
1. Inaccurate Information
You must provide factual and accurate information to the Social Security Administration. You have to back up many application statements with supporting documentation. The wrong or expired documents only damage your approval chances. So be careful, truthful, and accurate with both your written statements and verbal testimony.
If you change your legal name, make sure you inform your employer to update their records. It’s important because it’s the name on your employer’s files that shows up in your tax paperwork.
And that’s how the SSA knows how much social security taxes you’ve paid.
It’s also a mistake to change your name with the SSA, but not with your employer. You may end up with your income information not getting properly relayed to the IRS.
The SSA may end up thinking that you earned less than you actually did. And you eventually end up receiving lower social security benefits.
You also have to be careful while providing your income details and numbers. Someone else may get credit for your earnings and paid taxes for the year if you get your numbers wrong.
That’s why periodically assessing your earnings records to check if you’ve made mistakes is a good habit. All you have to do is compare it with your personal tax records to find out if anything is amiss.
2. Filing Too Early
It’s understandable that you just can’t wait to start receiving cheques from the government every month. However, this is a huge mistake many Americans make.
Filing too early only dramatically reduces your lifetime social security benefits.
Most importantly, it’ll leave you with less money later on in life, when you may need it the most. It’s best to claim social security at 70, where your monthly benefit increases by at least 76%.
3. Short Marriages or Remarrying
Getting divorced too soon is another major mistake by Americans. It’s because you aren’t entitled to SS spousal benefit if your marriage doesn’t last for ten years.
And in case you get divorced after ten years of marriage, your future SS benefits may reduce if you remarry. Especially if you’re existing spousal SS benefits are more significant than the benefits you will receive after remarrying.
4. Claiming Early, and Working
Yes, you risk the government reducing your benefits by $1 for every $2 of excess income!
It applies if you claim your benefits before Jan.1 of the year you reach full retirement age, and earn more than $18,960 in 2021.
However, there’s also some good news.
You eventually get the money back as the government increases your benefits upon reaching full retirement age.
5. Not Seeking Legal Representation
The chances of a denied claim are higher without the help of an experienced social security benefits lawyer in Burbank. It’s always better to have your attorney review your application before filing. Saying the wrong thing and saying things wrongly can permanently damage the chances of your receiving benefits.
It’s never too late to turn to an attorney for help, even if your initial application has been denied. Your Burbank social security benefits attorney knows everything about social security benefits.
They will use their expertise and knowledge to help you get your rightfully deserved benefits.