Determining your Social Security benefits amount is an essential part of planning for retirement or understanding the financial support you might receive if you qualify for disability benefits. The Social Security Administration (SSA) in the United States provides several ways for individuals to find out their benefits amount, and this article outlines those methods.
1. Create a My Social Security Account Online
The most convenient way to access your Social Security benefits information is by creating a “my Social Security” account online at the official SSA website.
Here’s how you can do it:
- Visit the official SSA website.
- Click on “my Social Security” at the top of the page.
- Select “Create an Account” if you are a new user.
- Follow the prompts to provide personal information, including your Social Security number, address, and birth date.
- Set up a username and password for future logins.
- Once logged in, you can view your Social Security Statement, which provides an estimate of your future retirement, disability, and survivor benefits.
2. Receive a Paper Statement by Mail
If you are 60 or older and do not have a “my Social Security” account, the SSA will mail you a paper statement every year. This statement includes the same information available online, such as estimates of your future benefits.
3. Use the SSA’s Online Calculators
The SSA offers several online calculators to help you estimate your potential benefits:
- Retirement Estimator: Offers an estimate based on your actual Social Security earnings record.
- Retirement Age Calculator: Helps you find your full retirement age and the effect of claiming benefits at different ages.
- Disability Benefits Calculator: Provides an estimate for disability benefits.
These tools are available on the SSA’s calculator page.
4. Call or Visit a Local Social Security Office
You can call the SSA toll-free at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) or visit your local Social Security office to request information about your benefits amount. If you decide to visit in person, it might be wise to schedule an appointment to minimize wait times.
5. Consult with a Financial Advisor
Financial professionals who specialize in retirement planning may also be able to help you determine your expected Social Security benefits, taking into account other factors like your overall financial situation, investment portfolio, and retirement goals.
Understanding your Social Security benefits amount is essential for financial planning, whether you’re approaching retirement or seeking disability benefits. By utilizing the online tools provided by the SSA, requesting a paper statement, or consulting with professionals, you can gain a clear understanding of your potential benefits. Always ensure that you access your information through secure and official channels to protect your personal information.