Social Security Column

By Erin Thompson
Social Security Public Affairs Specialist in Toledo, OH
Guest Column

If you have a personal my Social Security account, you can view your Social Security Statement online to learn about your future benefits and recent earnings history.  Included with the Statement are fact sheets that provide useful information based on your age group and earnings situation.  Last month, we released a new fact sheet specifically for people with limited earnings.

The new fact sheet covers how you and your family members may qualify for benefits, including:

  • Supplemental Security Income.
  • Social Security retirement benefits.
  • Children’s benefits.
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
  • Help with health care costs – including Medicare, Medicare Savings Programs, Extra Help with Medicare prescription drug costs, and Medicaid.

We’re committed to helping you learn about all your benefit options.  Our Benefits Eligibility Screening Tool at is a convenient way to find potential benefits that best fit your situation.

To learn more, visit our Social Security Statement webpage at  Please share this article with your friends and family – and post it on social media.

Can you believe it’s been 10 years since we launched my Social Security?  Since then, 67 million people have signed up and benefited firsthand from the many secure and convenient self-service options.  And we’ve added and upgraded features that make your life easier when doing business with us online.  We take great pride in providing this and all of our services.  It’s part of how we help you secure today and tomorrow.

If you still don’t have a personal my Social Security account, you’re missing out.  A secure account provides personalized tools for everyone, whether you receive benefits or not.  If you don’t currently receive benefits, you can:

  • Estimate your future benefits and compare different dates or ages to begin receiving benefits.
  • Get instant status of your Social Security application.
  • Review your work history.
  • Request a replacement Social Security card (in most states).

If you receive benefits, you can use your personal my Social Security account to:

  • Get your instant benefit verification or proof of income letter for Social Security, Medicare, and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
  • Check your information and benefit amount.
  • Start or change your direct deposit.
  • Change your address and telephone number.
  • Request a replacement Medicare card.
  • Get an instant Social Security 1099 form (SSA-1099) or SSA-1042S.
  • Report your wages if you work and receive disability benefits and SSI.

Visit today and join the millions to take advantage of your own personal my Social Security account.  Please also encourage your friends and family to sign up for their personal my Social Security account today.

Social Security benefits are a crucial part of millions of Americans’ retirement income.  If you don’t have enough Social Security credits to qualify for benefits on your own record, you may be able to receive benefits on your spouse’s record.

To qualify for spouse’s benefits, you must be one of the following:

  • 62 years of age or older.
  • Any age and have in your care a child younger than age 16, or who has a disability and is entitled to receive benefits on your spouse’s record.

Your full spouse’s benefit could be up to one-half the amount your spouse is entitled to receive at their full retirement age.  If you choose to receive your spouse’s benefits before you reach full retirement age, you will get a permanently reduced benefit.

If you wait until you reach full retirement age to receive benefits, you’ll receive your full spouse’s benefit amount, which is up to one-half the amount your spouse can receive.  You’ll also get your full spouse’s benefit if you are under full retirement age, but care for a child and one of the following applies:

  • The child is younger than age 16.
  • The child has a disability and is entitled to receive benefits on your spouse’s record.

If you’re eligible to receive retirement benefits on your own record, we will pay that amount first.  If your benefits as a spouse are higher than your own retirement benefits, you will get a combination of benefits that equal the higher spouse benefit.

For example, Sandy qualifies for a retirement benefit of $1,000 and a spouse’s benefit of $1,250.  At her full retirement age, she will receive her own $1,000 retirement benefit.  We will add $250 from her spouse’s benefit, for a total of $1,250.

Want to apply for either your or your spouse’s benefits?  Are you at least 61 years and nine months old?  If you answered yes to both, visit to get started today.

Are you divorced from a marriage that lasted at least 10 years?  You may be able to get benefits on your former spouse’s record.  You can find out more by visiting for more information.