4 Important Concepts to Understand Before Applying for Social Security Benefits

The U.S. social security system is one of the most complex programs in the country. It provides benefits to a significant number of people for a variety of reasons.


More than 65 percent of aged beneficiaries received half of their income from social security during 2012, according to figures from the United States Office of Retirement and Disability Policy. It is clear, then, that a large number of people rely on this system for their welfare and survival, and it is important that you know as much about the U.S. social security program as possible.

If you want to apply for Arizona social security benefits, a specialist social security lawyer may be able to assist. The process is complex and involved, but with the right experts on your side, you stand a better chance of successfully filing your disability benefits claim. At How Do I Apply for SSDI, we specialize in connecting people like you with experienced SSDI professionals. Please complete the online enquiry form, and we will connect you with a specialist in your area.

1. Minimum Age

Unless you qualify for disability, the earliest age you can file for social security is 62. As Green Bay Press Gazette points out, you will not be able to collect your full benefit then. The Social Security Administration will reduce your benefits by 25 percent if your retirement age is 66—or 30 percent if it is 67. This reduction will be permanent.

You will be able to collect all of your benefit at your full retirement age, which is specific to your year of birth but will be either 66 or 67 years. Experts recommend that unless you are disabled, you wait until your full retirement age to claim your social security benefits.

2. Social Security and Tax

Green Bay Press Gazette highlights that if you collect substantial income from various sources, such as wages, investments or rental properties, it is likely you will owe taxes on your social security benefits.

The rate that you pay depends on your overall income bracket, much like regular salaries. At no stage will you have to pay taxes on more than 85 percent of your benefits.

3. Spouses and Survivors

It is important for married couples to think about how their claiming strategies may affect their spouse’s benefits. An expert will be able to assist with this. Essentially, your benefits will directly affect your spouse’s benefits. This means that the age that you file will have a direct impact on your husband or wife.

4. Social Security Benefit Strategies

It is important to have an effective social security benefit claim strategy, whether you are applying at standard retirement age, or because you have an illness or disability. Each has their own specific requirements, and timing is important. If you intend to file for social security benefits, particularly if are disabled and are unable to work, it makes sense to speak to a professional to devise an adequate strategy.

At How Do I Apply for SSDI, we can put you in touch with lawyers certified to handle claims for Phoenix social security benefits. Please complete the online form, and we will connect you directly with a social security expert near you.