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Review Your Social Security Statement

Posted on in Social Security Disability

"Social Security is going to run out in the next twenty years." "Social Security is the biggest ponzi scheme ever created." "Social Security is something no one needs to think about since it doesn't really affect us."

Chances are, most of you have heard of at least one of these statements in your lifetime. In fact, you probably agree with at least some of those overly broad statements. Regardless of what any of your views are, one thing is clear, whether you like it or not 6.2% of every paycheck you receive while working will go directly into the OASDI program. Over time, the amount that is taken out of your paychecks add up to thousands of dollars. Especially in a prolonged recession, because so much money is at stake it is imperative that we pay attention to what our money is going into. Like any major investment, everyone should know what they are investing in and what the estimated end result will be. This article will answer what a Social Security Statement is, who can receive it, what the Social Security Administration (SSA) says about it, and specifically, what you should not forget to think about when reviewing your Statement.

Who receives a Statement?

SSA will automatically send you a pamphlet entitled, "Social Security Statement" several months before your birthday each year if you are at least 25 years old. If you have not received your statement and want one, you can request one from SSA and they will mail one out to you.

What is your Social Security Statement?

Your Social Security Statement is a very easy to read document containing a record of all of the money that you have paid into Social Security during your lifetime. The statement breaks down the money you put into the program each year and gives you a summary of your estimated benefits that you and your family may receive. Your estimated benefits are divided into four sections: retirement, disability, family and survivors, and medicare. The amount shown on your statement under each section indicates what your benefit would be if you were to receive them at the time you received your Statement. If you want to receive your benefits, you have to have been adjudicated as disabled, be at least 62 years old, or be 67 years old to receive your full retirement age benefits.

What does SSA have to say about reviewing your Statement?

The SSA website points to three important reasons why it is necessary to review your Statement, they are: (1) the Statement can play an important role in your financial planning, (2) it can help make sure your reported earnings an other information are correct on record, and (3) the general information on the Statement tells you about all the protection you are earning under the program. For more information on why SSA believes you should check your Statement, visit http://www.ssa.gov/mystatement.

What should you not forget to do when reviewing your Statement?

Do not forget to do the following: make sure that your name, Social Security number, and earnings from each year that you worked are reported correctly; note the different amount you will receive depending on when you decide to receive benefits; know how your assumed future earnings were calculated; and finally, make sure that you understand that your earnings history may not include certain income you received that was not subject to payroll taxes.

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