What Is the Earliest a Person Can Begin Collecting Social Security Benefits?


Quick Answer

The minimum age to receive Social Security benefits is 62 years old, as of 2015 according to the Social Security Administration. The minimum age for full retirement benefits is between 65 and 67 years old, depending on the birth year of the recipient.

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Full Answer

Social Security recipients who begin accepting benefits at 62 years old receive 70 to 75 percent of the full retirement benefit, explains the Social Security Administration. Retirees claiming benefits after 62 years old and before full retirement age for the birth year receive a lower monthly benefit due to the increase in the number of payments. Spouses receiving Social Security benefits receive 30 to 35 percent of the full benefit at 62 years of age up to 50 percent of benefits at full retirement. Spouses born in several years apart have different ages for full retirement benefits. All recipients must take Social Security by age 70.

Children under the age of 18 qualify to receive Social Security benefits concurrently with a recipient of retirement age, according to AARP. There must be a biological or dependent relationship between the child and recipient, including dependent grandchildren. Disabled dependents, regardless of age, qualify to receive benefits if the disability occurred as a minor.

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