You don't think much about it when you first get your social security card, and probably don't give it much consideration when you see those deductions coming out of your paycheck once you start working but when you start reaching retirement age, chances are that you're wondering about just how you can qualify for social security benefits when the time comes. It pays to know what's happening and what to expect so that if you need to apply for disability or you plan on drawing benefits when you retire you won't be met with any surprises.
Set Up Your Social Security Account
The best way to find out what to expect from social security is to set up a My Social Security Account on the SSA website. When you set up your account, you will be able to know exactly what type of benefits you qualify for. You will also be able to get estimates of your future retirement benefit amount, any possibility of claiming disability and/or survivor benefits you may qualify for, and you can check to make sure that your annual earnings that are posted with the SSA are actually correct.
How To Set Up Your Social Security Account
To set up your new social security account, you will need to provide some personal information and answer questions that only you or a close loved one would know. You'll do this by visiting the social security website and following the links to create your own My Social Security Account. Once you agree to their terms and conditions, you'll give them your social security number and fill in the blanks on the online form including all the personal information that they will use to verify that you are the owner of the number you're using. Then you'll create a username and password that you can use to access your account whenever you need to check your social security status. After completing the forms and supplying all the information and your account is set up, you'll have ready access to all the information you need to plan your retirement.
Keep in mind that setting up a My Social Security Account only works if you protect it the same way as you would protect your social security number. You will only be able to set up an account using your own personal information and no one else. It is strongly advised that you do not share the information with anyone else nor give your permission to anyone else to access your information.
Your social security account should be viewed in much the same way as you would view your personal identity. Anyone found to be misrepresenting your identity will be held accountable to the federal government and could find themselves in jeopardy of criminal charges for doing so. All of this is so that your personal identity and benefits are secure when you need them. Having a personal social security account can give you all the peace of mind you need as you set out to prepare for your retirement years. Why wait until it's time to retire to find out what you should have been planning all along? With a social security account you'll know every step of the way what to expect in your future.