In Florida, more than one million elderly residents would unfortunately experience poverty if Social Security benefits were not available. Unsurprisingly, more than 90 percent of Florida residents at their retirement age are receiving their benefits, but some of them may have applied too soon. Here are two tips which can help you get your maximum retirement benefits.
1. Wait a little.
About 69 percent of Social Security beneficiaries in Florida are retirees. If you choose to take an early retirement and claim your benefits before you reach full retirement age, you could be receiving 25 percent less from your monthly benefits than you would if you had waited.
2. Wait a little bit longer.
You can increase the benefits you receive each month by about eight percent for every year that you choose to delay them. For one out of every three Florida residents older than 65, these benefits are the only source of income available to them. If you suspect that Social Security may also be your only income, see if delaying receipt of those benefits is a possibility for you.
It is also important not to give up. Florida averages about a 46 percent acceptance rate for Social Security claims. In general, more than 60 percent of all applicants will find their first application denied.
It may also be helpful to know that you can apply for Social Security benefits online. When you apply for Social Security benefits online, you may find the process simpler than filling out direct paperwork. However, Social Security attorneys specialize in helping claimants fill out paperwork accurately, to improve the chances of a successful claim, so if you work with an attorney, they may prefer that you work offline.
Over the next 20 years, the number of Americans living past 65 will have increased by 31 percent. This will mean a greater demand for Social Security benefits and a greater strain on the system. Therefore, it is important to make smart decisions about when and how you will apply. Depending on your age, health situation, or military status, you may need the help of a Social Security disability attorney, a veterans disability lawyer, or a more general Orlando veteran lawyer to receive the full benefit amount you require.