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Social Security: Am I Eligible? AARP's Social Security Question and Answer Tool works as an online retirement planning resource, designed to assist those who are eligible for benefits as well as those who are unsure. The SSQA Tool acts also as a guide, explaining in plain English the information one needs to know regarding how to apply for Social Security, spousal and survivor benefits, choosing the optimum retirement age to file a claim, choices for citizens living (and retiring) abroad, and even help to calculate the benefit amount you're entitled to receive.
AARP's Social Security Question and Answer Tool is a starting point towards an informed decision about you and your benefit eligibility.
Enter a keyword to get all the answers to your Social Security questions.
Q: Are there any countries to which the U.S. will not send Social Security payments?
A: Social Security benefits can be sent abroad to most foreign countries, but there are a few countries that are classified as restricted. — Read Full Answer
Q: Can a non-U.S. citizen receive ex-spouse benefits?
A: A divorced spouse with lawful immigrant status can usually collect spousal benefits on an ex-spouse's record. — Read Full Answer
Q: Can I receive my Social Security checks if I live abroad in a foreign country, outside the U.S.?
A: You can receive Social Security payments in most foreign countries but rules vary based on your citizenship, type of benefit, and country of residence. — Read Full Answer
Q: Can I transfer work credits from a foreign country's Social Security agency to my work record in the U.S. if I worked abroad?
A: The United States has international agreements with over 20 foreign countries for people who have worked abroad. — Read Full Answer
Q: Do you have to be a U.S. citizen in order to qualify for Social Security retirement benefits?
A: You do not have to be a US citizen to receive benefits. — Read Full Answer
Q: I was married to the same person twice, the first time for 7 years, and the second time for 5 years. Can I collect benefits on their record since the total is over 10 years?
A: To collect benefits on an ex-spouse's record a marriage must last ten years. — Read Full Answer
Q: My ex-spouse has not filed for Social Security benefits yet. Can I still claim benefits on their record?
A: A divorced spouse must be 62 in order to claim on their record. — Read Full Answer
Q: How can I find out whether I'm eligible for any of the benefits that Social Security offers?
A: To determine your benefit eligibility, use the Social Security Administration's online screening tool. — Read Full Answer
Q: If I don't have 40 quarters yet at age 70, can I wait to file for Social Security benefits until I do, even if that is age 75?
A: Once eligible, you can apply at any age after 62. However, you cannot earn the delayed retirement credits that increase your benefit until you are full retirement age and have earned your 40th Social Security credit. — Read Full Answer
Q: Is Social Security just for retired workers?
A: Disabled workers and family members of a beneficiary can receive benefits too. — Read Full Answer
Q: When is the earliest age I can receive Social Security benefits?
A: Eligibility for early retirement begins at age 62 but survivors and the disabled can claim even earlier. — Read Full Answer
Q: How soon do I become eligible for a spouse benefit under my new spouse's Social Security work record?
A: A marriage must be over a year old to be eligible to collect a spousal benefit. — Read Full Answer
Q: I am 59 years old and want to know when I can claim my late husband's retirement benefit?
A: Survivor benefits for widows and widowers can be claimed as early as age 60. — Read Full Answer
Q: If my spouse is 62 or older, can she claim spouse benefits even if I am not at retirement age yet?
A: You must claim in order for a spouse to receive benefits on your record. — Read Full Answer
Q: My boyfriend and I have lived together for over seven years. If he dies, can I collect his Social Security benefits?
A: If your state recognizes common-law marriage you may be eligible to receive survivor benefits. — Read Full Answer
Q: My husband passed away in 2000. Will I be able to collect a survivor's benefit on his work record, even though we were only married five years?
A: The 10 year marriage rule for survivor and ex-spousal benefits only applies to divorced couples. — Read Full Answer
Q: What benefits are available to spouses who did not work outside the home, or who did not work long enough to qualify for Social Security benefits on their own record?
A: A spouse is eligible to collect up to 50% of their partner's benefit. — Read Full Answer
Q: Are there certain types of employees not covered by Social Security?
A: Some Federal, State or local government employees may be eligible for pensions not covered by Social Security. — Read Full Answer
Q: Can I collect unemployment benefits and Social Security at the same time?
A: Yes. Unemployment benefits are not considered wages by the Social Security Administration. — Read Full Answer
Q: Do Members of Congress pay into Social Security?
A: Current members of Congress are eligible for the same benefits as other government employees. — Read Full Answer
Q: How long do I have to work to qualify for benefits?
A: A person usually has to work for 10 years to qualify for benefits. — Read Full Answer
Q: Is it true that some people who are collecting Social Security benefits never paid into the program?
A: Family members are often eligible for benefits on a spouse or parent's work record. — Read Full Answer
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