Social Security FAQ

1. What is Social Security?
2. Will Social Security be there for me?
3. Am I eligible for Social Security?
4. How much will I draw from Social Security?

5. Can I continue to work while taking Social Security?
6. Can I collect Spousal Benefits?
7. Can I collect Survivor Benefits?
8. Should I start collecting at age 62?
9. What is my Full Retirement Age (FRA)?
10. What is the definition of PIA?
11. What are the rules for divorced spouses collecting on ex-spouses' earning records?
12. Does a divorced spouse have to wait until his or her former spouse files for Social Security benefits before collecting on an ex-spouse's earnings record?
13. Does the earnings test apply to survivorship benefits?
14. What is 'file and suspend'?
15. Can both spouses file and suspend benefits?
16. At what age/time can a spouse file and suspend?
17. If an individual never applied for Social Security and is well past the age of 70 can he or she apply for retroactive benefits?
18. How does the government capture the benefit reduction if someone is collecting Social Security before FRA and is working?
19. If you are working while receiving Social Security benefits, do you continue to pay Social Security Payroll Tax?
20. If the 62 year old wife of a 70 year old husband elects to file for her own benefit before FRA, would she use her wage-based earnings only or would she use both of theirs if they file their income taxes jointly?
21. If the 62 year old wife of a 64 year old husband wants to collect a spousal benefit based on the husband's benefit, can the husband file and suspend his benefit?
22. If husband and wife are approximately the same age and have the same PIA, can they at FRA both file and suspend their benefits, allowing the other to claim a spousal benefit, and then file at 70 for their own benefits with delay credits?
23. If a spouse collected his or her own retirement benefit early, does this reduction also apply to a Survivor Benefit?
24. Can a person who is not eligible for Social Security benefits under his or her own work record begin collecting spousal benefits at age 62?
25. Can a spouse begin taking benefits based on his or her own work history before FRA (and before the other spouse begins his or her own benefit) and then switch to a spousal benefit when the other spouse begins taking benefits (assuming the 50% spousal benefit is greater than his or her own)?
26. Can a worker start taking benefits based on his or her own work history at age 62 and then switch to a spousal benefit at age 66, or vice versa, if his or her spouse is currently collecting benefits?
27. Can distributions from certain pensions reduce the amount of Social Security a worker will receive?
28. Can distributions from certain pensions reduce the amount of Social Security Survivor Benefits a person will receive?