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File-and-Suspend Benefit Maximization for Couples

Social Security Changes affect File-and-Suspend Benefit Maximization for Couples

The “File-and-Suspend” method of maximizing Social Security retirement benefits has been used by married couples for decades. Recent budget bill changes passed by Congress however phase out this process by closing the “loophole” in Social Security regulations that allowed spouses to increase their Social Security income as a couple.

The File and Suspend Method Explained

2016 Social Security Administration Financial Adjustments

The Social Security Administration (SSA) reviews financial data and publishes a list of updates every year. These updates include adjustments to maximum benefit amounts, work credits, and other financial thresholds. Whether you’re now receiving benefits or planning to apply in 2016, you’ll need to be aware of the SSA’s new figures.

Q & A With Someone Who was Awarded Benefits

One of the most common questions we receive is “How do I actually get approved for benefits?” The fact of the matter is that there’s no sure-fire way to get approved, and less than 50% of applicants receive benefits even after they have an ALJ hearing. So we decided to speak with a woman who WAS successful with her claim to see what she did to win her benefits.

Q: How long did it take for you to be approved?

Who is Eligible for Benefits Under my Account?

Who is eligible for benefits under my account and how do I get them benefits?

If you qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), then some members of your family may also be able to receive monthly benefits under your work record. Only certain family members meet Social Security Administration (SSA) eligibility rules, and the rules that govern who gets benefits and how much they receive are a bit complex, but here’s the gist of it.

Dependents

Increased Unemployment Rate Jeopardizes Longevity of Disability Program

Beginning in December 2007, the United States suffered an economic downturn considered to be the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. During this time period, layoffs increased at an alarming rate. In the fourth quarter of 2007 there were 5.7 million layoffs. By the first quarter of 2009, that number had quickly grown to 7.6 million—a 34% increase. The unemployment rate grew from 5.0% in December, 2007 to 9.5% by the end of the recession in June 2009.

Is Filing a Social Security Disability Appeal Worth the Time and Effort?

When applying for Social Security Disability benefits, many people assume that it will be a smooth process with minimal complication. You file the application, provide the necessary documents, and wait for the approval letter. Unfortunately, receiving Social Security Disability benefits is rarely ever that simple. In fact, only about 30 percent of initial applications for Social Security Disability are approved. What happens if your application is one of the remaining 70 percent that are denied disability benefits at the initial stage of the process?

What are some Examples of Volunteering I can do?

Having a disability may prevent you from working and may impose other limits on your social interactions. It doesn’t have to mean you lose all contact with the outside world or that you stop doing things that are important to you. You can continue your involvement in certain volunteer activities.

It is important to understand however that the amount of volunteer time you commit can affect disability benefit eligibility. The types of volunteer activities in which you participate can affect eligibility as well.

Volunteer Work Evaluations

How can I stay afloat while waiting for Social Security benefits?

The disability application and review processes are time consuming. If you’re initially denied benefits, then the wait can be even longer, as you will need to file an appeal. Making ends meet while you wait for a decision can be challenging. Here are some tips to help you get through.

Tip #1: Work While Waiting

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