Tricounty News

Social Security questions and answers

Question: A friend told me that Social Security has a great new radio show on the Internet. Do you? Answer: Your friend is talking about our new podcast, "Deciding When to Start Receiving Retirement Benefits," which is available now at www.socialsecurity.gov/podcasts. The conversational program talks about factors to consider when you're thinking about when to retire. You can listen to the podcast now at www.socialsecurity.gov/podcasts. Question: In a few years I will turn 62 and would like to retire. I know that Social Security's full retirement age is gradually rising from 65 to 67. But does this mean the "early" retirement age will also be going up by two years, from age 62 to 64? Answer: No. While it is true that the full retirement age is gradually rising from 65 to 67, the "early" retirement age will remain at 62. So you can go ahead with your plans to retire early. Keep in mind, however, that by taking early retirement, your benefits will be reduced. For more information on the factors to consider, read the fact sheet "When to Start Receiving Retirement Benefits" at www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs/10147.html. Question: I've heard there is a way for my son to get his disability application on the "fast-track." How does this work? Answer: Take a look at whether you son has one of the 50 impairments--25 rare diseases and 25 cancers--on the list at www.socialsecurity.gov/compassionateallowances. If your son has one of those impairments, it may allow his application to be fast-tracked. Recently, Social Security announced this "Compassionate Allowances" initiative. It allows applicants to receive a decision on their disability application within days, if their medical conditions are so severe that they obviously meet Social Security's definition of disability. Over time, more diseases and conditions will be added to the list. Learn more at www.socialsecurity.gov/compassionateallowances.