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Social security benefits go a long way to cushion the elderly during their sunset years. Therefore, it is expected that you would want to ask a few questions. For instance, what is the minimum and maximum social security benefit? What is the minimum social security payment per month? These and a score of other questions can help you plan well for your benefits. While the Social Security Administration (SSA) is on record reporting the dwindling numbers of those receiving minimum SS payment, it is worth knowing the amounts. Most importantly, you also want to know when you can receive your first check.
This post will explore the subject of minimum and maximum social benefits. It will answer several questions, not limited to what is minimum social security payment as well as how to calculate your benefit amounts.
Understanding Minimum Social Benefit
You are probably wondering about minimum social security payment: what it is and how it works. Typically, the benefits go to low wage earners. In 2018 for someone who had worked for 3 decades, the minimum social security payment stood at $848.80 and $10,185.60 monthly and annually respectively. Notably, the minimum benefit payments are also adjusted as per prevailing inflation rates.
How Does One Qualify For Social Security?
As of 2019, a new set of guidelines were unveiled for one to qualify as a beneficiary for social security. Also, you can take an eligibility test. Generally, you earn a single credit for taxable security earnings amounting to $1,360. To qualify, you have to earn 40 credits. For someone starting out their career, you should be earning at least $5, 440 each year to qualify within ten years.
Calculating Social Security Benefits
Like a lot of people, you would like to know your minimum social security payment at 62 or any other retirement age. Your benefits are calculated off your average wage and based on a predetermined formulation over a span of your highest 35 years of working income. Again, there will be inflation adjustments. It is also worth noting that the years you are not earning, social security will make zero entries. Remember, when you claim your benefits earlier, you end up getting less benefit amount in the long haul.
How to Calculate Non-Working Spouse Benefits
Is there a minimum social security payment for a spouse who does not qualify for the benefits? Apparently, yes. However, it is not in form of death benefit because it is received while the other qualified spouse is still alive.
Usually, the benefit to the non-working spouse is half the social security amount for the working spouse. It is also dependent on when the spouse claims the benefits. For example, claiming them early- say at 62 years- the benefits may drop to as low as one-third of the other spouse’s social security benefits. Why? It is because benefits to non-working spouse are reduced by 8.33% each year if claimed before the legal retirement age.
How to Make the Most Out of Your Social Security Benefits
It is possible to make the most out of your minimum social security benefit. The secret is knowing the right time to claim your benefits. Simply delay your claim for as long as possible. It is advisable to wait at least until your full retirement age.
You can now calculate what is the least amount of social security one can receive. The benefits are pegged on your average earnings over your working age and the time you claim them. With the right information as provided here, it is now possible to know what is the minimum and maximum social security benefit.