Approximately 173 million people in the United States collect Social Security benefits. While 72 percent go to retirees who may choose to retire at the age of 62, 13 percent go to widows or widowers left behind after an older person dies and 16 percent goes to disabled workers. Each person may also collect a one-time death benefit. Here are some ways that you may join those people who are drawing Social Security.

Become Old Enough

If you were born before 1937, then you can get your full retirement at age 65. If you were born after 1960, then you cannot get your full retirement until you reach age 67. The age law varies for those born between 1937 and 1960. Note that everyone who is over 65 can receive a reduced retirement amount. Congress can choose to update these ages when they choose.

Have a Spouse Who Dies

If you were married when your spouse passes away, then you may be eligible for a Social Security check beginning at age 60. If you are disabled, then you may only have to be 50 and the disability started within seven years of your spouse’s death. If you were divorced from an ex-spouses who passes away and you were married more than 10 years, then you may still be able to get benefits. People who put in their own application within 12 months of having their spouse die may be eligible to withdraw their application and file for survivor’s benefits. Whether you are the spouse or the ex, if you remarry after the age of 50, then your benefits will not be affected.

Be a Child of an Eligible Person

A child who is 19 and under can draw benefits if one or both of their parents are eligible for benefits. If the child is disabled, then they can get benefits until they are 22 as long as they remain disabled. Children who are adopted or stepchildren can also draw these benefits. If the child has begun living with their grandparents before they were 18, then they may also be eligible. If the grandparents are already receiving benefits, then the child must be legally adopted before they can get money from the Social Security fund.

Develop a Disability

If you become injured permanently or have a permanent disability, then you may be eligible for Social Security Insurance payments. Your condition must limit your ability to work. Many different mental and physical conditions may qualify. You may want to contact social security disability lawyer services before you begin the process as it can be complicated. Getting the correct information can stop long delays in being approved for payments. You must prove to Social Security that you worked enough and recently enough before you will be approved.

Become Deceased

Social Security pays a one-time payment when you die. The person must have had six quarters of Social Security withholding during the full 13-quarter period prior to their death. If the person’s spouse is already receiving spousal benefits, then no application needs to be filed. Otherwise, an application needs to be filed to get this payment. In many cases, the funeral home does this as a courtesy to the families that they serve. This money can be spent in any way that the nearest survivor desires.

Almost every person who works pays into the system. Make sure to get your share when you are entitled to it.

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