Seniors can request a Social Security statement showing a record of their earnings, current benefits and future benefit estimates by logging in to their my Social Security account online. The SSA automatically sends a paper statement to seniors three months before their 60th birthday, if they have not yet set up an online account.
Social Security benefits are paid to those aged 62 and over who have earned enough work credits, and to certain qualifying dependents. The formula used to calculate how much a person is entitled to is altered regularly to adjust for changes in the cost of living, and many seniors are unsure what they’ll receive when they reach full retirement age.
Creating a my Social Security account is free, and the service allows users to see a lot of useful information about their Social Security claims and entitlements. That includes the dates they filed for benefits, the status of their claims and information about any incomplete claims.
The website also shows information about disability, retirement or survivors benefits, helping families understand what benefits they might be entitled to. Seniors who cannot use a computer or who would prefer not to use the online service can request a Social Security statement by mail by completing Form SSA-7004. It typically takes four to six weeks for the SSA to process a statement request.
Seniors who are struggling with Social Security forms or who find the process of claiming Supplemental Security Income confusing can ask someone to help them complete forms, act as an interpreter or serve as a representative for telephone calls. The nominated representative may also receive correspondence from the SSA, allowing them to manage claims more efficiently.
SSI is a cash benefit that can be used for any purpose, including out-of-pocket medical expenses, day-to-day living expenses or fees associated with assisted living facilities. Seniors who qualify for SSI may also be eligible for Medicaid and a variety of waivers that can reduce the cost of purchasing durable medical equipment or accessing medical care. Low-income seniors should seek advice from their local Area Agency on Aging if they’d like to know more about the benefits available in their state.