Q. My grandson lost his Social Security card. How do I go about getting him a new card?

A. Your grandson can be issued a new Social Security card at your local Social Security office. He will need to file a new application for a card and provide proof of his identity and U.S. citizenship or legal resident status. If you are applying on his behalf, in addition to proof of his identity and citizenship or legality, you will need proof of your identity. Go to http://www.socialsecurity.gov/ss5doc/ for a detailed listing of the types of documents accepted as proof of identity. You can either download the application form or call the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213 or call or visit your local Social Security office to request an application.


Q. If I apply for disability and become approved, will this affect my husband’s check and what about our son’s check?

A. Your eligibility for a Social Security benefit based on your own Social Security earnings record cannot affect your husband’s benefit in any way. If you each meet the law’s eligibility criteria, each of you is entitled to your full, earned benefit. Your son will continue to be entitled to a benefit based on his father’s Social Security earnings record unless a benefit payable on your earnings record or on your combined records would be a greater amount.


Q. I am retired and receiving Social Security benefits and am planning on getting married. My fiancée is still employed. What effect will this have on my Social Security benefits? Also I am wondering if I should be having taxes taken from my benefits.

A. Marriage or remarriage never affects a wage earner’s own Social Security benefit. Your Social Security benefit will continue unchanged. After one year of marriage, assuming he or she has reached retirement age, your spouse could be eligible for a spouse benefit. Death benefits would be payable if the marriage lasted at least nine months before ending in death — even less if death was accidental.

With regard to having taxes taken from your Social Security benefits, that can be done if you have determined you need to do so. The Social Security Administration allows withholding at four possible rates: 7, 10, 12 or 22 percent of your benefit. To learn more about this service, go to https://www.ssa.gov/planners/taxwithold.html.


Q. I know that Medicare is deducted from your Social Security check at age 65. If I retire at 62, is Medicare deducted also?

A. You may begin your Social Security retirement benefit early, but you will have to wait until the month you reach age 65 for Medicare to begin. If you are already receiving Social Security benefits at that time, you will receive information about Medicare about three months before your 65th birthday. The first Medicare premium will be deducted from the payment for the month before you reach 65. Medicare coverage will begin on the first day of the month you are 65.


Q. In the future, will older workers experience more years of disability?

A. You may begin your Social Security retirement benefit early, but you will have to wait until the month you reach age 65 for Medicare to begin. If you are already receiving Social Security benefits at that time, you will receive information about Medicare about three months before your 65th birthday. The first Medicare premium will be deducted from the payment for the month before you reach 65. Medicare coverage will begin on the first day of the month you are 65.


Q. Our Social Security checks are deposited the 3rd of the month. Are they for the month of deposit, or the previous month?

A. Social Security benefits are always received in the month following the month for which they are due. For example, the benefit you will receive in May is for the month of April.


Q. I am 61, in excellent health, make a substantial salary and plan to keep working for 10 (+ or -) years. At what age should I file for my Social Security benefits to obtain the most income over the years from those payments?

A. While this is a difficult question to answer on an individual basis, in general, you may want to consider claiming your Social Security retirement benefit no later than the month you reach age 70. That is the month your benefit reaches its maximum. Delayed retirement credits of 8 percent per year will increase your benefit from the month you reach full retirement age through the last month you are age 69. If you claim benefits at an earlier date, you will receive a smaller payment than if you delay claiming until 70.

Delayed retirement credits are the opposite of early retirement reductions. Early retirement benefit reductions and delayed retirement credits are roughly actuarially fair based upon average life expectancy. In effect, considering the time value of money, the same dollar value is received whether benefits begin at age 62, at age 70, or any month in between. Earnings over the annual Social Security earnings limitation would limit your option to begin reduced, early retirement benefits. There is no limit on earnings once full retirement age is reached. You may want to begin benefits when you reach full retirement age if you are married and your spouse could be entitled to a benefit based on your Social Security earnings record.