Q:

How can you determine how much Social Security you qualify for when you're eligible?

A:

Quick Answer

A person is able to estimate how much Social Security he is eligible for by using the Social Security Administration's online retirement estimator tool, says the Social Security Administration. This tool only provides an estimate, because Social Security can't determine the exact amount until the time a person applies for benefits.

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How can you determine how much Social Security you qualify for when you're eligible?
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Full Answer

The amount of Social Security benefits that is estimated and the amount the person actually receives may differ because of an increase or decrease in future earnings, the adjustment for cost of living at the time benefits kick in, and any change in the laws that govern the amount of benefits a person is able to receive, explains the Social Security Administration.

People who are eligible to use the retirement estimator are those who have enough credits to qualify for benefits, people who are not currently receiving benefits on their own Social Security record, or people waiting for a decision about an application for benefits or Medicare. People who are age 62 or older and receiving benefits on another Social Security record or who are eligible for a pension based on work that is not covered by Social Security cannot use the retirement estimator, says the Social Security Administration.

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