OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Workers who are 62-yeas-old and older who have been laid off or furloughed have the option to sign up for Social Security.
However, you get smaller monthly payments if you sign up before you are 66-years-old.
If you start Social Security payments early and then come to regret the decision, there are a couple of ways to fix the problem and boost your monthly payments.
Withdraw your benefits
One way to pause your Social Security benefits is to simply withdraw your application. However, this must be done within 12 months of starting your benefits. Also, you will have to repay what you received so far.
You can only withdraw benefits once in a lifetime.
To withdraw benefits, you’ll need to complete Form SSA-521 and send it to your local Social Security office.
Suspend your benefits
If you aren’t eligible for withdrawal but you’ve reached your full retirement age and have not reached 70-years-old yet, another option is to voluntarily suspend your retirement benefits.
With the suspension option, you don’t have to repay the benefits you’ve received and you can restart them anytime you wish. Otherwise, they will be automatically reinstated at age 70.
By suspending your benefits, you’ll earn delayed retirement credits, which means your benefit amount increases for every month of the suspension. Your payment will go up by two-thirds of 1% each month.
You can request a suspension by calling 800-772-1213 or going to your local Social Security office.
Working and collecting benefits
If you start collecting Social Security and you go back to work, but your income is modest, you can continue drawing your benefits while working at the same time. If your earnings are higher, it makes sense to stop your benefits.
If you are under your full retirement age and you earn more than $18,240 in 2020, Social Security will deduct $1 from your benefits for every $2 you earn over that amount.
Those who reach full retirement age in 2020, $1 gets taken out for every $3 you make above $48,600 until you reach the month of your birthday.
If you were to lose some or all of your Social Security benefits because of the earning limits, they aren’t lost forever. When you reach full retirement age, your benefits will be recalculated to a higher amount to make up for what was withheld.
If you decide to work and collect Social Security, think about taxes. Since working increases your income, it might make your Social Security benefits taxable.