Determining Your Present and Future Social Security Benefits

Since 1999, the Social Security Administration (SSA) mailed annual Social Security Statements to you three months before your birthday.  These statements were a way to inform you about the amount of Social Security benefit that you would be entitled to receive at different retirement ages (based upon your current earnings), the disability benefit that you, your spouse, and dependents would receive if you became permanently disabled, and the benefit available to your survivors in the event of your death. They also showed a record of your annual earnings.

Depending on the month of your birth, you may have noticed that you have not received the statement. In April 2011, the Social Security Administration decided to stop mailing annual Social Security statements to workers to save money. By suspending mailings for all workers over age 25, SSA is expected to save approximately $70 million in annual printing and mailing fees.  For several months the only way to obtain this information was to go to the social security office.

SSA plans to eventually resume mailing statements to people age 60 and over. In the meantime and for those under 60 going forward, the SSA website has recently added calculators that can be used to compute these values. The tool is an estimator and does not show the actual values that were available on your statement.  The SSA has provided a number of tools at the website to assist you in planning retirement, but has not yet included a feature to access the actual values associated with your social security number.

For those who are currently receiving SSA/SSI benefits, there is an electronic form now available at the website to obtain a Proof of Income Letter that can be used as proof of your income when you apply for a loan or mortgage, income for assisted housing or other state or local benefits, current Medicare health insurance coverage, retirement status, disability, and/or age.  You will have the option to select the information you would like in the letter. This form is a request for the letter, so it will take at least 10 days after submitting the form to receive the letter.

* The information contained in this Blog is intended for general information and educational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or an opinion of counsel.