Federal Assistance In The Absence Of A Stimulus Check: Social Security Benefits

Stimulus Check
Stimulus Check

Even as the stimulus checks from the federal administration remain stopped for now, people could benefit from state relief payments to cope with the record inflation rate. But several federal social security benefits add up to a considerable amount.

Social Security benefits are given to citizens based on their earning record if they are 62 years or older. Blind or disabled people are also entitled to aid if they have sufficient work credits. Family members qualifying for benefits for the work record of the main beneficiary do not need work credits.

Workers earn a maximum of 4 credits per year and they are based on total wages and other income from self-employment for the year. People might work year-round to earn the 4 credits or earn more in less time for the 4 credits. The number of earnings required to earn credit changes every year.

It is necessary to periodically check the estimates of Social Security assistance to help retirement plans and immediately detect and rectify any errors.

Checking Earnings And Benefits Of Social Security

The SS Administration maintains a record of your work credits and earning records and keeps track of and updates them through your SS number. Moreover, you can check your SS statement, available if you are aged 25 years or more. 

The statement from the SS also provides you with an approximation of the aids you can expect once you retire. This will play a vital role in future financial planning.

Stimulus Check
Stimulus Checks

Getting A SSA Statement Copy

The Social Security Administration sends you statements if you are over 25 and do not receive regular SS benefits before your birthdays starting 25 years, and at regular 5-year intervals till you reach 60.

From 60 years till retirement, the SS administration will send you regular statements annually. You can view your statement records online at www.ssa.gov/mystatement/, by signing up with the SSA and viewing your statement. But you cannot request a printed copy through Form SSA 7004.

Contents Of The SSA Statement

The SSA statement gives you a detailed record of your incomes on which you have filed tax returns and also the estimate of all benefits you could receive at numerous stages of retirement (62 years, 67 years, and 70 years).

It would be prudent to go through the numbers sent by the SSA. The SSA has a 3% margin of error, and it would be wise to get mistakes rectified at the earliest.

Things to check include the Social Security number, and the listed earned income amount in the records. This amount should match with your record of listed earnings in the income tax returns and pay stubs.

Correcting A Social Security Statement Error

If you think you have detected an error in your covered income or other details, you can contact the SSA through the Social Security helpline numbers at 800-772-1213 on a weekday between 7 am to 7 pm. Getting through requires some patience. Calls get through faster early in the morning, in late afternoons, and late in the week or month.

Keep your documents in hand when you contact an SSA representative. You can also apply to meet a representative in person by calling up the SS office and making arrangements for an appointment. You can also visit the office during regular business hours. Take along your papers and a copy of all documents. Be sure to take down the name and contact number of the representative to contact in the future.

The process to rectify errors is slow, and it could be months before your records are changed. Once the SSA confirms the change in your records, you should request another statement of benefits to be doubly sure that your SS records have been corrected for good.

Making Sense Of Your Estimated Benefits

Your statement should reveal your SS retirement benefits which differ depending on the time of your claim. It could be before or post-retirement and depends on your birth year. The longer you postpone picking up your benefits, the higher will be your regular benefit amount.

People with medical conditions would do better to collect their benefits earlier for a better quality of living. 

Getting Both Social Security Disability Insurance And Supplemental Security Income

Supplemental security income (SSI) is also administered by the Social Security Administration. But while Social Security benefits are paid to the insured and certain family members based on your work earnings and length, SSI benefits are not based on your or your family member’s prior work.

Stimulus Check

The SSI funds are generated through the US Treasury from various taxes. The SSI benefits are given to the blind, disabled, or those aged 65 and above whose earnings and resources are limited. Beneficiaries should be US citizens or qualified aliens and reside in one of the states or the Dist. of Columbia.

Stimulus Checks That Are Being Paid By States

Around 87 million residents in various states are already eligible in the process of receiving a stimulus check or will get one by the next couple of months.

The stimulus check amount will be much smaller than those that have been approved by the federal administration. This will help to further put pressure on the rate of inflation by pumping in more money into a market where supply is even now much less than the money floating around.

Several states have already approved a state stimulus check to help residents affected by inflation. New Mexico, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Maine, and New Jersey are among states that are already sending stimulus checks or are in an advanced stage of processing.

California, Hawaii, Kentucky, New York, and Minnesota are also considering proposals for various forms of stimulus checks including gas and transit cards, direct tax rebates, and also tax waivers on certain essential items.

Idaho’s residents will get a stimulus check of $350 as tax refunds while some residents in Georgia who have filed their 2020 and 2021 tax returns will receive a $500 stimulus check for joint filers and a $250 stimulus check for individuals.

Indiana’s residents who have filed their latest tax returns will get a one-off stimulus check of $125.