Social Security Tips – March 2022

Social Security Reentry Update

Starting in early April, we will add more in-person appointments and offer in-person service for people without an appointment. As we prepare to help more people in person at local Social Security offices throughout the country, we’re asking for your help to let the public know what to expect.

During the pandemic, millions of people used our secure and convenient online services and received help by phone and in our offices by appointment. For people who can access our services online or by phone, we ask that they continue to do business with us online or by phone and schedule an appointment, when possible, which will better allow us to timely serve people who cannot use those options.

Please visit our webpage How to Get Help from Social Security to learn:

  • The best ways to get help from Social Security.
  • What you should know before you visit a Social Security office, so we can help you safely.
  • Innovative options that could help you have your hearing sooner if you are appealing a decision.

Tips on how to get help from Social Security:

  • The best way for people with access to the internet to get help from Social Security is online at ssa.gov.
  • If you cannot use our website, call our National 800 Number (1-800-772-1213) or your local Social Security office for help. For quicker access to a representative at our National 800 Number, try calling early in the day (between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. local time) or later in the afternoon (between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. local time). We are also less busy later in the week (Wednesday to Friday) and later in the month.
  • If we are unable to help when you call our 800 number or local office, we will schedule an appointment for you by phone or in-person.
  • We may need to schedule you for an appointment at a later date or call you back to provide the service you are requesting.
  • As we get closer to early April, we continue to offer more telephone and in-person appointments.
  • The number of people a local office can help in person will depend on local health conditions and other factors.

The Q & A for the month:

Question: Husband and wife scenario – wife is age 63, husband is still working and they have a special needs son. They told me that they read somewhere that if a person has a special needs dependent, they can file for SS benefits early and receive a full benefit amount, even if they file early.  True?  Can she file for benefits early and receive her full retirement amount?

Answer: A spouse qualifies at any age if caring for a disabled adult child or minor child; however, the worker must be collecting in order for anyone else to collect on their record. So, if husband is receiving retirement, she can apply for unreduced spouse’s benefits and switch to her own retirement later, up to age 70, if advantageous for her to do so.

If she is receiving a spousal benefit because she is caring for a child who is disabled, deemed filing does not apply and she is therefore not required or “deemed” to file for her own retirement benefit. https://faq.ssa.gov/en-us/Topic/article/KA-01202

Keep in mind that the annual earnings limits apply to her, even if she’s only receiving a spouse’s benefit, she is still subject to the same earnings limits. Once she turns full retirement age, she will not be subject to the limits any longer. https://www.ssa.gov/benefits/retirement/planner/whileworking.html#h1