THINKING RETIREMENT – ANDY LANDISThere are numerous birthdays throughout your life that are significant Social Security milestones. Don’t overlook one or you might get short-changed. I’ll bet you anything you have a birthday sometime this year.  If you’re near my age, any birthday is worth celebrating, especially if you’re upright and can get out of bed unassisted…no matter how many times you have to do that at night.

There are some special years when Social Security might say “happy birthday” with a valuable gift…a Social Security payment. Could this be the year? Be sure to check the following chart and web links to see if your Social Security status changes. 

No matter your age – Note that you might be eligible for Social Security or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) at any age if you become disabled or if a family member passes away.  Restrictions apply, so check with SSA in every case.  Don’t leave money on the table!


Receive Social Security number (automatic if US-born). www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10023.pdf 

Eligible for Social Security child’s payments on a parent’s work record. www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10085.pdf

Eligible for SSI payments if disabled and needy. www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10026.pdf


Parent’s Social Security payments stop when youngest child reaches 16, unless parent is otherwise eligible. www.ssa.gov/kids/#ht=1


Child’s Social Security payments stop unless child is in elementary or high school, or disabled. www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10085.pdf

Disabled individual can get SSI independently, without counting parent’s income and resources. www.ssa.gov/pgm/ssi.htm


Child’s Social Security payment stops even if in elementary or high school, unless disabled. www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10085.pdf


Child” must be disabled by age 22 to receive Disabled Adult Child Social Security payments on a parent’s work record. www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10026.pdf


Eligible for Social Security payments as a Disabled Widow(er) (reduced payment amount). www.ssa.gov/survivorplan/ifyou2.htm


Eligible for Social Security payments as a Widow(er) (reduced payment amount). www.ssa.gov/survivorplan/ifyou2.htm

Remarriage after 60 does not bar Social Security Widow(er)’s  or surviving divorced spouse payments. www.ssa.gov/survivorplan/ifyou5.htm#other


Eligible for early Social Security retirement or spousal payments (reduced payment amount). www.ssa.gov/pgm/retirement.htm and www.ssa.gov/retire2/applying6.htm


Eligible for Medicare. www.ssa.gov/pgm/medicare.htm

Eligible for SSI Aged payments. www.ssa.gov/pgm/ssi.htm


Full Retirement Age (FRA).  Exact FRA, currently 66, is determined by birth year. www.ssa.gov/pubs/ageincrease.htm

Eligible for unreduced Social Security retirement payments. www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10147.pdf

Maximum spousal and widow(er)’s payments. www.ssa.gov/retire2/applying6.htm and www.ssa.gov/survivorplan/ifyou5.htm

Earned income no longer reduces Social Security payment. www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10077.pdf

Retirement payments automatically increase if earlier payments were withheld due to work. www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10077.pdf

Able to voluntarily suspend payments to receive Delayed Retirement Credits (DRCs). www.ssa.gov/retire2/suspend.htm

Able to draw “Spousal-Only” payments without applying for retirement payments. www.ssa.gov/retire2/yourspouse.htm#a0=1


Maximum retirement payments. www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10147.pdf

Voluntarily suspended payments automatically resume. www.ssa.gov/retire2/suspend.htm

There are rules and restrictions that govern each of these dates. Always check with Social Security [ www.ssa.gov] for details that might affect you.  And as always, keep on planning!


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