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6 New Social Security Limitations and Restrictions

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6 New Social Security Limitations and Restrictions

Are you, your spouse or a family member nearing retirement age or disabled? If the answer is yes, you will definitely want to keep abreast of social security limitations and restrictions. Social Security regulations saw some changes last year. Let’s take a closer look at 2018’s significant Social Security limitations and restrictions of which you want to be aware.

The full retirement age has increased

The Social Security Administration (SSA) sets age limits on when an individual can draw full Social Security benefits. For those born in 1955, the full retirement age to draw full Social Security income is 66 years and 2 months. Individuals born in 1956 must wait to receive full benefits until age 66 and 4 months. For people born after 1960, the full retirement age has increased to 67.

New limits on earnings while collecting

Many people choose to continue to work while collecting Social Security. This can be both financially and personally fulfilling. If this is in your plan, take note that the income limit while collecting Social Security has gone up from $16,920 to $17,040 this year. However, earn over that $17,040 limit and you will lose $1 in benefits for every $2 earned. If you’ll become retirement age in 2018 the earnings limit is $45,360.

No more paper statements

This past year the Social Security Administration discontinued their long history of mailing paper statements. These were very valuable to most people. Paper statements outlined past earnings as well as retirement benefits estimates. Now, the Social Security Administration is requiring an online account. All statements will be digital. This may be a challenge for some people who are not tech-savvy.

Two-step process for online access

In addition to becoming digitalized, in order to access your account you will need an email address or cell phone. These are required in addition to a username and password and used as a second means of identification. In 2017, these second identifiers were opt-in only. Now, due to identity theft and other unauthorized usage threats, they will be mandatory.

Social Security Disability Income (SSDI)

For people earning benefits through a disability, there is no unearned income limit. However, the Social Security Administration does put a limit on earned income. They assume if one can earn an income they are not disabled. These limits are known as Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA). There is a monthly limit placed on earnings and if that limit is exceeded, it is known as engaging in SGA. How is this calculated? SGA is calculated by using the national wage index. Federal regulations do separate out business owners from non-business owners with this restriction because their income may not reflect the full effort put into the business. For individuals, the SGA earned income limit is $1,180 for disabled and $1,970 for blind applicants.

Social Security Benefits and Survivors

It may be surprising to learn that certain limits apply to survivors as well. Collecting Social Security benefits before full retirement age is one such potentially devastating limitation. Any person who collects any type of Social Security benefits younger than the set retirement age will lose $1 in benefits for every $2 earned over $16,920 per year. This applies to retirees, a spouse, a dependent child or a survivor. It is imperative to plan. Life insurance can often times fill the gap in income with proper planning and knowledge. 

Mestayer & Associates provides civil litigation for clients throughout the Gulf Coast area including Pascagoula, Biloxi, and Gulfport. If you are making future plans for your estate, then contact us today and let us help take care of every detail of your finances. Call us today at 228-762-1193 or visit www.pascagoulalaw.com. We are your legal experts! You can also visit our office located at 2128 Ingalls Ave. in Pascagoula, Mississippi. We look forward to talking with you!

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This article does not create an attorney-client relationship. I am licensed to practice law in Mississippi and have based the information presented on US laws. This article is legal information and is for entertainment and informational purposes only and should not be seen as legal advice. You should consult with an attorney before you rely on this information. Any information provided in this blog is accurate and true to the best of my knowledge, but that there may be omissions, errors, or mistakes.

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