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how to apply for social security benefits at age 62

by Kendra Crona Published 1 year ago Updated 1 year ago
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If you are at least 62 years of age and you wish to apply for retirement or spouse’s benefits, you can use our online retirement application to apply for one or both benefits. If you are divorced and your marriage lasted at least 10 years, you may be able to get benefits on your former spouse’s record.

Full Answer

How do I start my Social Security benefits?

There are three key ages when it comes to Social Security:

  • Age 62: This is the earliest age you can begin to receive retirement benefits. Your monthly benefit will be permanently reduced.
  • Age 66: This is currently “full retirement age” (FRA). ...
  • Age 70: This is the latest age you want to file for benefits. ...

When to apply for Social Security retirement benefits?

  • You must be at least age 62 for the entire month to be eligible to receive benefits.
  • You are not currently receiving benefits on your own Social Security record.
  • You have not already applied for retirement benefits.
  • You want your benefits to start no later than four months in the future. ...

How do you sign up for SS Benefits?

  • Your Social Security number
  • Your birth certificate, or proof of U.S. citizenship
  • Your W-2 forms or self-employment tax return (or both) for the last year you worked
  • Your military discharge papers if you served in any branch of the military

When can I start collecting Social Security?

When can you claim Social Security and what will you make? The earliest you can claim Social Security benefits is age 62. In 2020, about 23.5 percent of men and 25.7 percent of women claimed their retirement benefits at age 62, according to the SSA.

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How long before my 62 birthday should I apply for Social Security?

four monthsYou can apply up to four months before you want your retirement benefits to start. For example, if you turn 62 on December 2, you can start your benefits as early as December. If you want your benefits to start in December, you can apply in August.

How do I claim my Social Security at 62?

You can apply for retirement benefits online at www.ssa.gov, call our toll-free number, or contact a local Social Security office. Depending on your circumstances, you'll need some or all the documents listed below. Don't delay in applying for benefits if you don't have all the information.

How much Social Security will I get when I turn 62?

How Your Social Security Benefit Is ReducedIf you start getting benefits at age *And you are the: Wage Earner, the Retirement Benefit you will receive is reduced toAnd you are the: Spouse, the Retirement Benefit you will receive is reduced to6270.0%32.5%62 + 1 month70.432.762 + 2 months70.832.962 + 3 months71.333.158 more rows

What is the lowest Social Security benefit at age 62?

DEFINITION: The special minimum benefit is a special minimum primary insurance amount ( PIA ) enacted in 1972 to provide adequate benefits to long-term low earners. The first full special minimum PIA in 1973 was $170 per month. Beginning in 1979, its value has increased with price growth and is $886 per month in 2020.

How long does it take to get your first Social Security check after you apply?

Once you have applied, it could take up to three months to receive your first benefit payment. Social Security benefits are paid monthly, starting in the month after the birthday at which you attain full retirement age (which is currently 66 and will gradually rise to 67 over the next several years).

Is it better to apply for Social Security online or in person?

While some may prefer to apply in person at their local Social Security office, an increasing number of retirees are finding it easier and more convenient to claim their benefits by retiring online at www.socialsecurity.gov.

Can I draw Social Security at 62 and still work full time?

Can You Collect Social Security at 62 and Still Work? You can collect Social Security retirement benefits at age 62 and still work. If you earn over a certain amount, however, your benefits will be temporarily reduced until you reach full retirement age.

What is the average Social Security benefit at age 62 in 2021?

At age 62: $2,364. At age 65: $2,993. At age 66: $3,240. At age 70: $4,194.

Why retiring at 62 is a good idea?

Retirees who begin collecting Social Security at 62 instead of at the full retirement age (67 for those born in 1960 or later) can expect their monthly benefits to be 30% lower.

How do I apply for Social Security for the first time?

You can apply:Online; or.By calling our national toll-free service at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) or visiting your local Social Security office. ... If you do not live in the U.S. or one of its territories, you can also contact your nearest U.S. Social Security office, U.S. Embassy or consulate.

How many months in advance should you apply for Social Security benefits?

four monthsYou should apply no later than the month in which you want your benefits to start. You can file up to four months before that, which gives Social Security ample time to process your application. As the minimum age to collect retirement benefits is 62, the earliest you can apply is when you reach 61 years and 9 months.

Can I get Medicare at age 62?

The typical age requirement for Medicare is 65, unless you qualify because you have a disability. 2. If you retire before 65, you may be eligible for Social Security benefits starting at age 62, but you are not eligible for Medicare.

What happens if you file for Social Security at 62?

By filing at 62, or any time before you reach full retirement age, you forfeit a portion of your monthly benefit. If you were born in 1960 or later, for instance, filing at 62 could reduce your monthly payment by as much as 30 percent. AARP’s Social Security Benefits Calculator can provide more details on how filing early reduces benefits.

When can I collect Social Security if I was born on the first day of the month?

For example, if you were born on Oct. 1 or 2, 1959, Social Security considers you to be 62 as of Sept. 30 or Oct. 1, 2021.

When will I get my unemployment benefits if I was born in October?

There is a one-month lag in the benefit payment. If your birthday is Oct. 1 or 2, you qualify for an October benefit and it will be paid in November. If you were born later in October, your first benefit month is November and you will be paid in December.

When will Social Security start in 2021?

For example, if you were born on Oct. 1 or 2, 1959, Social Security considers you to be 62 as of Sept. 30 or Oct. 1, 2021. Your benefits will start in October 2021; you can apply for benefits in June. But if you were born between Oct. 3 and 31, your first full month at 62 is November. If you want to start your benefits as soon as possible, ...

When will unemployment start in 2021?

Your benefits will start in October 2021; you can apply for benefits in June. But if you were born between Oct. 3 and 31, your first full month at 62 is November. If you want to start your benefits as soon as possible, you can apply in July. There is a one-month lag in the benefit payment.

Apply for Retirement Benefits

Starting your Social Security retirement benefits is a major step on your retirement journey. This page will guide you through the process of applying for retirement benefits when you’re ready to take that step. Our online application is a convenient way to apply on your own schedule, without an appointment.

Ready To Retire?

Before you apply, take time to review the basics, understand the process, and gather the documents you’ll need to complete an application.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of taking your retirement benefits before your full retirement age?

The advantage is that you collect benefits for a longer period of time. The disadvantage is your benefit will be reduced. Each person's situation is different.

What happens if you delay your retirement?

If you delay your benefits until after full retirement age, you will be eligible for delayed retirement credits that would increase your monthly benefit. That there are other things to consider when making the decision about when to begin receiving your retirement benefits.

Is it better to collect your retirement benefits before retirement?

There are advantages and disadvantages to taking your benefit before your full retirement age. The advantage is that you collect benefits for a longer period of time. The disadvantage is your benefit will be reduced. Each person's situation is different.

How much will Social Security be at 62?

Your monthly benefit check will permanently decrease by 20-30%. This chart illustrates how much an estimated $1,000 monthly benefit payment will be worth if you start taking it at age 62, relative to your Full Retirement Age.

Can you defer retirement benefits?

Conversely, you can also defer retirement benefits. This typically increases your annual payout by about 8% for each year you delay beyond your Full Retirement Age, to a maximum of age 70.

Ways to Apply

You can complete an application for Retirement, Spouse's, Medicare or Disability Benefits online.

Retirement or Spouse's Benefits

You can apply online for Retirement or spouse's benefits or continue an application you already started.

Disability Benefits

You can apply online for disability benefits or continue an application you already started.

Appeal a Disability Decision

If your application for disability benefits was denied recently for medical reasons, you can request an appeal online or continue working on an appeal you already started.

Medicare Benefits

You can apply online for Medicare or continue an application you already started.

Extra Help with Medicare Prescription Drug Costs

You can apply online for Extra Help with Medicare prescription drug costs.

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Benefits

If you want to apply for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), please read:

Although you'll receive reduced checks by claiming early, you can still receive thousands of dollars per month

The age at which you file for Social Security benefits will have a major impact on the amount you receive each month. While you can receive larger monthly payments by delaying benefits, many workers choose to file as early as possible at age 62. That can be a smart strategy in many cases, and there are several advantages to claiming early.

How the length of your career affects your benefits

One of the most important factors when it comes to your benefit amount is the number of years you've worked. Most people become eligible for Social Security retirement benefits once they've earned income for 10 years, but you'll need to work for at least 35 years to receive the maximum benefit amount.

How much you'll have to earn to reach the maximum benefit amount

Your income is another crucial factor in reaching the highest benefit amount. The more you're earning, the more you'll be eligible to collect in benefits -- up to a certain point.

What if your earnings are falling short?

If you're earning enough to reach the maximum benefit amount, that's fantastic. But the average worker will struggle to reach the income limits, and not everyone can afford to work 35 years before claiming.

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Many of us will have little choice -- we'll have to start at 62

You can start collecting your Social Security benefits as early as age 62 and as late as age 70 -- though you have a full retirement age (FRA) somewhere in between, which is 66 or 67 for most of us. Start collecting before your FRA, and your benefit checks will shrink. Delay beyond it, and they'll grow bigger.

Timing matters

It's good to have a solid understanding of just how much less (or more) you'll receive from Social Security if you start collecting your benefits early (or late). This table show what percentage of your full retirement benefits you'll get, depending on when you start collecting them, based on your FRA.

You simply may have to start collecting benefits at 62

While this table may have you mulling over which age is best for you to start collecting your benefits, you may actually end up with little choice in the matter. According to the 2019 Retirement Confidence Survey, for example, 43% of respondents reported retiring earlier than they expected, versus only 9% who retired later than expected.

Starting to receive benefits at 62 isn't so bad

Don't feel bad if it looks like you'll be turning on the Social Security faucet early instead of waiting until age 70 for those much fatter checks. Remember that you'll get many more checks by starting early. For example, if you start at age 62 and live to age 85, that's 23 years, meaning 276 months of checks.

The case for delaying up to age 70

On the other hand, if you can put off starting to collect those benefits and you have a decent chance of living a longer-than-average life, it's worth delaying as long as you can, up to age 70. After that, there are no more increases to benefits, so 70 should be the latest age at which you apply for your benefits.

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How old do you have to be to get spouse's Social Security?

To qualify for spouse’s benefits, you must be one of these: At least 62 years of age.

When will my spouse receive my full retirement?

You will receive your full spouse’s benefit amount if you wait until you reach full retirement age to begin receiving benefits. You will also receive the full amount if you are caring for a child entitled to receive benefits on your spouse’s record who is younger than age 16 or disabled.

What happens if your spouse's retirement benefits are higher than your own?

If your benefits as a spouse are higher than your own retirement benefits, you will get a combination of benefits equaling the higher spouse benefit. Here is an example: Mary Ann qualifies for a retirement benefit of $250 and a spouse’s benefit of $400.

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