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Working While Receiving Social Security: What You Should Know

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Social security payments are helpful. For some households, however, the payments aren't enough to help a family stay afloat; additional income is necessary. If this scenario sounds reminiscent of your situation, you may be able to work and earn extra income while receiving your payments. However, there are factors and restrictions you must take into account. If you need to work, here is what you need to know.

Age Matters Most

If you need or want to work while you receive your social security payments, understand that your age matters more than anything else. The standard age to receive your benefits is between the ages of 66 and 67. However, there are instances when an individual can claim an early benefit once they reach the age of 62. The earlier you choose to receive your payments before the full retirement age, the more restrictions you'll face in terms of earning additional income. If you've reached full retirement age or older, you have more flexibility to work at-will.

Speak with Your Employer

Ensure you speak with your employer if you plan to work. One of the restrictions you face when you work before you reach full retirement age while receiving benefits is that you cannot earn over a certain amount. The reason you need to be upfront with your employer is to ensure that they don't schedule you for more hours than you can legally work.

Keep in mind that the income limit is based on yearly earnings. So, it's up to you to regularly track your earnings and make adjustments to your schedule as necessary to ensure you stay within the appropriate earnings range.

Penalties Exist

If you choose to work, you may face penalties. In terms of working when you're younger than the full retirement age, the Social Security Administration will deduct a specific dollar amount of your benefits for a specified dollar amount you earn over the limit. As a result, while you may earn more from working, you will also see a decrease in your social security payments.

If you will reach the full retirement age within the year and you receive payments, you could also see a similar reduction in your social security payments. However, this will occur only until the month of your birthday when you reach full retirement age.

If you are not certain as to whether or not you can work, you should consider contacting a social security attorney like Todd East Attorney at Law. An attorney can go over your situation with you and help you determine if you can earn an income without jeopardizing your benefits.