5 Reasons You May Lose Your Social Security Benefits
Written by Carmen Garcia
Social Security benefits are available for both retirees and the disabled. If you collect or plan to collect soon, it is important to understand how certain things you do—or don’t—can affect how much you receive, or if you receive any benefits at all. Keep reading if you want to understand how you could potentially lose some or all your benefits.
Claiming Social Security Benefits Too Early
You get to decide when you want to claim social security benefits but if you aren’t careful, your timing could influence just how much, if any, you receive. The full retirement age (FRA) is 67. If you claim Social Security prior to FRA, you will receive a reduction to the benefits you’re entitled to. This reduction is the result of monthly early filing penalties. If you wait until you’ve reached FRA, you will not only receive your full benefit amount but will likely see an increase due to delayed retirement credits. Waiting to claim your benefits pays off.
Failure to Meet Eligibility Requirements
To be eligible for Social Security benefits, you must have worked and paid Social Security taxes for a certain number of years. The specific number of years required will depend on your age and the type of benefits you are applying for. If you have not worked long enough to meet these requirements, you will not be eligible for Social Security benefits.
Changes to Your Employment Status
If you stop working or change jobs, your eligibility for Social Security benefits may be affected. For example, if you retire or become disabled, you may be eligible for Social Security retirement or disability benefits. However, if you return to work after retiring or becoming disabled, your benefits may be reduced or suspended depending on your income and other factors. This is the most common reason for a change or delay in social security benefits.1
Certain Life Events
Certain life events, such as getting married or divorced2, can also affect your eligibility for Social Security benefits. For example, if you get divorced, you may be entitled to a portion of your ex-spouse's Social Security benefits if you were married for at least 10 years. On the other hand, if you remarry, you may lose the right to receive benefits based on your former spouse's earnings.
Changes to the Social Security Program
In addition to the factors mentioned above, changes to the Social Security program can affect your eligibility for benefits. For example, Congress may pass legislation that raises the age at which you are eligible to receive full benefits, or that changes the way benefits are calculated. These changes can impact your ability to receive Social Security benefits in the future.
As you can see, there are several reasons why you could lose Social Security benefits, including claiming benefits too early, failing to meet eligibility requirements, changes to your employment status, certain life events, and changes to the Social Security program itself. It is essential to understand these factors and how they may affect your eligibility for Social Security benefits. As always, if you have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact your advisor!
DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Global View Capital Advisors. LTD (GVCA) or any of its affiliates. The content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The information in this material is not intended as tax or legal advice. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. This material was developed and produced by FMG Suite to provide information on a topic that may be of interest. FMG Suite, LLC, is not affiliated with the named representative, broker-dealer, state- or SEC-registered investment advisory firm. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security.
1. Lisa, Andrew. 2023. Ways You Can Lose Your Social Security Benefits. Yahoo News. https://www.nolo.com/legal-updates/medicare-premiums-deductibles-and-copays-change-for-2023.html
2. 2021. What You Need to Know When You Get Social Security Disability Benefits. Social Security Administration. http://www.ssa.gov/PUBS/EN-05-10153.pdf