Questions & Answers


General

Question:

Do Members of Congress have to pay into Social Security?

Answer:

Yes, they do. Members of Congress, the President and Vice President, federal judges, and most political appointees, have paid taxes into the Social Security program since January 1984. They pay into the system just like everyone else, no matter how long they have been in office. Learn more about Social Security benefits at www.ssa.gov.

Question:

I recently applied for a replacement Social Security card, but I might be moving before it arrives in the mail. What should I do if I move before I get it?

Answer:

Once we have verified all your documents and processed your application, it takes approximately 10 to 14 days to receive your replacement Social Security card. If you move after applying for your new card, notify the post office of your change of address and the post office will forward your card to your new address. If you do not receive your card, please contact your local Social Security office. To get a replacement, you will have to resubmit your evidence of identity and U.S. citizenship, or your lawful immigration status and authority to work. You can learn more at www.ssa.gov/myaccount.

Retirement

Question:

I served in the military, and I’ll receive a military pension when I retire. Will that affect my Social Security benefits?

Answer:

You can get both Social Security retirement benefits and military retirement at the same time. Generally, we don’t reduce your Social Security benefits because of your military benefits. When you’re ready to apply for Social Security retirement benefits, go to www.ssa.gov/applyonline. This is the fastest and easiest way to apply. For your convenience, you can always save your progress during your application and complete it later. We thank you for your military service!

Question:

I know that Social Security’s full retirement age is gradually rising to 67. But does this mean the “early” retirement age will also go up by two years, from age 62 to 64?

Answer:

No. While it is true that under current law the full retirement age is gradually rising from 65 to 67, the “early” retirement age remains at 62. Keep in mind, however, that taking early retirement reduces your benefit amount. For more information about Social Security benefits, visit www.ssa.gov/planners/retire.

Disability

Question:

My doctor said he thinks I’m disabled. Who decides if I meet the requirements for Social Security disability benefits?

Answer:

We first will review your application to make sure you meet some basic requirements for Social Security disability benefits, such as whether you worked enough years to qualify. Then we will send your application to the disability determination services office in your state, often called the “DDS” or “state agency.” Your state agency completes the disability decision for us. Doctors and disability specialists in the state agency ask your doctors for information about your condition. They consider all the facts in your case. They use the medical evidence from your doctors and hospitals, clinics, or institutions where you have been treated and all other information.

The state agency staff may need more medical information before they can decide if you are disabled. If more information is not available from your current medical sources, the state agency may ask you to go for a special examination. We prefer to ask your own doctor, but sometimes the exam may have to be done by someone else. Social Security will pay for the exam and for some of the related travel costs. Learn more at www.ssa.gov/disability.

Question:

I’m getting ready to start filling out my disability benefits application online, but I’m concerned I will need to stop before I can finish it. Can I stop before completing the application and come back to finish it later? If so, how do I return to my online application to finish it when I have all the information I need?

Answer:

Applying for disability is a multi-step process that may take one to two hours to complete, depending on your situation. You can save your application as you go. This allows you to come back and finish later.

When you start your application, you will receive a “Re-entry Number.” You will need this number to return to your application to complete it. You can go back to the online application at www.ssa.gov/disabilityonline. After you’re finished and have submitted your application, we’ll contact you with any updates or questions we may have about your information. Sign up for or log in to your personal my Social Security account to check your application status at www.ssa.gov/myaccount.

Supplemental

Security Income

Question:

How much will I receive if I qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits?

Answer:

The amount of your SSI benefit depends on where you live and how much income you have. The maximum SSI payment varies nationwide. For 2022, the maximum federal SSI payment for an eligible individual is $841 a month and $1,261 a month for an eligible couple. However, many states add money to the basic payment. (Illinois does not) For more information, go to www.ssa.gov/ssi.

Question:

Who is eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI)?

Answer:

People who receive SSI are age 65 or older, blind, or disabled with limited income and resources. Go to www.ssa.gov for income and resource limits. The general fund of the U. S. Treasury makes SSI payments. They do not come out of the Social Security Trust Fund.

Medicare

Question:

Is it true that if you have low income you can get help paying your Medicare premiums?

Answer:

Yes. If your income and resources are limited, your state may be able to help with your Medicare Part B premium, deductibles, and coinsurance amounts. State rules vary on the income and resources that apply. Contact your state or local medical assistance, social services, or welfare office, or call the Medicare hotline, 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227), and ask about the Medicare Savings Programs. If you have limited income and resources, you also may be able to get help paying for prescription drug coverage under Medicare Part D. Call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) or visit any Social Security office. Also, see our publication, Medicare, at www.ssa.gov/pubs/10043.html. For even more information, visit www.ssa.gov.

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