Do You Have to Be Over the Age of 66 to Receive Social Security Benefits?

A person can receive Social Security benefits as early as age 62, but the amount received is less than the amount received at full retirement age, according to the Social Security Administration. Each additional year a person waits brings him closer to the full benefit amount.

If a person was born before 1954, his full retirement age is 66, but anyone born after 1954 has a full retirement age over 66, according to the Social Security Administration. If a person's retirement age is over 66 and he starts collecting Social Security benefits at age 62, the benefit amount is reduced by about 30 percent. At age 65, this same person only sees his benefits reduced by about 13.3 percent.