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Social Security questions,answers

December 19, 2017 GMT

Q: How can I check the status of a pending application for retirement benefits?

A: If you applied for retirement or disability benefits online, you can check the status of your application at www.socialsecurity.gov by selecting “Benefits” and “Check Application Status” under “Apply.” You will need to enter your Social Security number and the confirmation code you received when you filed online.

Your application status will show:

-- The date we received your application.

-- Any requests for additional documents.

-- The address of the office processing your application.

-- If a decision has been made.

Q: Will my retirement benefits increase if I wait and retire after my full retirement age?

A: Yes. You can increase your Social Security retirement benefit in two ways:

-- You can increase your retirement benefit by a certain percentage if you delay receiving retirement benefits. We will automatically add these increases automatically from the time you reach full retirement age until you start receiving benefits or reach age 70.

-- If you work, each additional year you work adds another year of earnings to your Social Security record. Higher lifetime earnings may result in higher benefits when you do retire.

For more information, visit www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs to read, print or listen to our publication, When to Start Receiving Retirement Benefits. You also can use our Retirement Estimator at www.socialsecurity.gov/estimator to determine your estimated future benefits.

Q: I’m trying to decide when to retire. Can Social Security help?

A: Deciding when to retire is a personal choice, and you should consider a number of factors, but we can certainly help. First, take a few minutes and open a my Social Security account at www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount. With a my Social Security account, you can access your Social Security Statement and estimate your retirement benefits at age 62, your full retirement age, and age 70. Also, we have several online calculators that can help you decide when to retire. Our Retirement Estimator gives estimates based on your actual Social Security earnings record. You can use the Retirement Estimator if:

-- You currently have enough Social Security credits to qualify for benefits.

-- You are not:

-- Currently receiving monthly benefits on your own Social Security record.

-- Age 62 or older and receiving monthly benefits on another Social Security record.

-- Eligible for a pension based on work not covered by Social Security.

You can find our Retirement Estimator at www.socialsecurity.gov/estimator. Also available at www.socialsecurity.gov/planners/benefitcalculators.htm are several other calculators that will show your retirement benefits as well as estimates of your disability and survivor benefit if you become disabled or die. You may want to read or listen to our publication, When To Start Receiving Retirement Benefits, available at www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs.