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Retired and Working? Social Security Still Comes Out

Question: I am receiving Social Security retirement benefits and I recently went back to work. Do I have to pay Social Security (FICA) taxes on my income?

Answer: Yes. By law, your employer must withhold FICA taxes from your paycheck. Although you are retired, you do receive credit for those new earnings. Each year Social Security automatically credits the new earnings and, if your new earnings are higher than in any earlier year used to calculate your current benefit, your monthly benefit could increase.

For more information, visit www.socialsecurity. gov or call us at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778).

Question: Can I complete business with Social Security online?

Answer: There are many things you can do on Social Security’s website. You can conduct most of your Social Security business with us online at www.social security.gov/online           services. You can get an estimate of future benefits, find out if you qualify for benefits now, and even apply for benefits. You can complete a number of other tasks online, too. You can estimate your retirement benefit using our Retirement Estimator, which allows you to get an instant, personalized estimate of your future benefit based on different retirement ages and scenarios. You can even open your own my Social Security account to plan for and manage your benefits. In some areas, you can even request a replacement Social Security card using your my Social Security account.

Question: I want to estimate my retirement benefit at several different ages. Is there a way to do that?

Answer: Use our Retirement Estimator at www.socialsecurity.gov/estimator to get an instant, personalized retirement benefit estimate based on current law and your earnings record. The Retirement Estimator, which also is available in Spanish, lets you create additional “what if” retirement scenarios based on different income levels and “stop work” ages.

Question: I plan to retire soon.  When are Social Security benefits paid?

Answer: Social Security benefits are paid each month.  Generally, new retirees receive their benefits on either the second, third, or fourth Wednesday of each month, depending on the day in the month the retiree was born. If you receive benefits as a spouse, your benefit payment date will be determined by your spouse’s birth date.

Here’s a chart showing how your monthly payment date is determined:

∫ Day of the Month You Were Born: 1st-10th

Social Security Benefits Paid: Second Wednesday

∫ Day of the Month You Were Born: 11th-20th

Social Security Benefits Paid: Third Wednesday

∫ Day of the Month You Were Born: 21st-31st

Social Security Benefits Paid: Fourth Wednesday

For a calendar showing actual payment dates, see the Schedule of Social Security Benefit Payments at www.socialsecurity. gov/pubs.

Question: I get Social Security because of a disability. How often will my case be reviewed to determine if I’m still eligible?

Answer: How often we review your medical condition depends on how severe it is and the likelihood it will improve. Your award notice tells you when you can expect your first review using the following terminology:

∫ Medical improvement expected-If your condition is expected to improve within a specific time, your first review will be six to 18 months after you started getting disability benefits.

∫ Medical improvement possible-If improvement in your medical condition is possible, your case will be reviewed about every three years.

∫ Medical improvement not expected-If your medical condition is unlikely to improve, your case will be reviewed about once every five to seven years.

Question: I’m 65, not ready to retire, but I want to apply for my Medicare coverage. How can I do that?

Answer: The easiest and most convenient way is to apply online! Use our online application to sign up for Medicare. It takes less than 10 minutes. In most cases, once your application is submitted electronically, you’re done.

There are no forms to sign and usually no documentation is required. Social Security will process your application and contact you if we need more information. Otherwise, you’ll receive your Medicare card in the mail. It’s convenient, quick, and easy. There’s no need to drive to a local Social Security office or wait for an appointment with a Social Security representative.

Question: I pay my monthly premium directly to my Medicare prescription drug plan provider. Why can’t I also pay my income-related monthly adjustment amount directly to my Medicare prescription drug plan provider?

Answer:  By law, we must deduct your income-related monthly adjustment amount from your Social Security payments. If the amount you owe is more than your payment, or you don’t get monthly payments, you will get a separate bill from another federal agency, such as the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services or the Railroad Retirement Board.

Question: I know you need to have limited resources to receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI). But what does Social Security consider a resource?

Answer: Resources are things you own that you can use for support. They include cash, real estate, personal belongings, bank accounts, stocks, and bonds. To be eligible for SSI, a person must have no more than $2,000 in countable resources. A married couple must have no more than $3,000 in countable resources. If you own resources over the SSI limit, you may be able to get SSI benefits while trying to sell the resources. Not all of your resources count toward the SSI resource limit. For example:

∫ The home you live in and the land it’s on do not count.

∫ Your personal effects and household goods do not count.

∫ Life insurance policies may not count, depending on their value.

∫ Your car usually does not count.

∫ Burial plots for you and members of your immediate family do not count.

∫ Up to $1,500 in burial funds for you and up to $1,500 in burial funds for your spouse may not count.

∫ If you are blind or have a disability, some items may not count if you plan to use them to work or earn extra income.

You may also wish to read our material on “resources” in the booklet, Understanding SSI at www.socialsecurity.gov/ssi/text-understanding-ssi.htm.

Rebecca Miller is the manager of the Social Security office in Wheeling.

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