"1. Question: Is theres any way I can track my Social Security contributions?
Answer: If you are at least 25 years old, you will automatically receive Social Security Statement every year, allowing you to know your earnings from all the years you have worked. This record will also show an estimated amount of benefits you and your family may receive in case that you retire or become disabled.
Meanwhile, workers aged 24 and younger can request the agency to provide this personal record.
2. Q: How can the Social Security Statement be useful on my part?
A: With this record, you can plan your finances especially when you retire from work or become disabled, allowing you to build a secure future for your family.
3. Q: How can I get a copy of my statement?
A: You can visit the Social Security Administration website at www.ssa.gov which provides an instruction on how to obtain your record of earnings.
You can also make a request in writing which can be done by filling out the SSA 7004 form provided by the local Social Security Office.
4. Q: I think there is an error in my Social Security Statement. What should I do to report this?
A: You may call the agencys hot line, 800-772-1213, which is accessible through Monday to Friday from 7 am to 7 pm. However, you should be patient since the phone line is usually busy. To prevent delays, it is ideal to call early morning where there are less people calling the agency. Also, you should have your documents at hand when speaking with a representative.
If you want to personally speak with an officer, you can go to the local Social Security Office during regular business hours and bring two copies of each document proving your claims (so you can give one copy to an officer). Dont forget to write down the name of the officer and his contact number so you can reach him for follow up.
Usually, it will take several months before the agency corrects the error in your personal record.
In case the office calls you to confirm that your record has already been corrected, you should still request the agency to send your statement just to make sure.
5. Q: Im not yet in my full retirement age but Im thinking of getting early benefits. However, Im worried that the amount will be reduced.
A: You can file for retirement benefits as early as 62 years old and receive your benefits in reduced amount (by 25 percent) until you reach your full retirement age of 67. However, even if you delay or receive your benefits in full retirement age, the total amount of claims in your lifetime will be the same.
While it is generally better to wait for your full retirement age, if you think you will not live long enough and reach the age of 75, perhaps you may consider filing for early benefits."
For more information on social security benefits, seek legal advice from our experienced social security law attorneys. Visit our website and dial our toll free number.