Most people do not spend too much time thinking about Social Security until the last minute when they are close to retiring. However, there are many decisions that a person makes during his or her working years that can significantly affect how much money one will receive from Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Making the wrong decisions can result in a lower amount on a personâ??s monthly check for SSI during retirement in Pennsylvania or any other state.
One mistake people make is to work less than 35 years. This can be a noticeable difference since the amount of benefits received from Social Security is based upon the 35 years in which one earns the most income. In other words, each year with higher earnings will cancel out a year with less earnings. Therefore, working for less than 35 years will cause years with no earnings to be factored into calculating benefits.
Another decision that people make that contributes to a lower paycheck from SSI is to fail to maximize oneâ??s earnings. Usually, the more a worker puts into the system, the larger the paycheck he or she will receive from Social Security upon retirement. However, once a person makes more than a certain amount, the portion above that amount of oneâ??s salary will not be factored into calculating oneâ??s SSI benefits. This amount is adjusted yearly in order to reflect inflation.
These are just a few of the many factors that could end up negatively affecting oneâ??s ability to obtain enough SSI benefits to live comfortably during retirement in Pennsylvania. Failing to follow the proper legal procedures when applying for benefits may also cause problems. However, if an application is initially denied due to procedural errors or any other reason, there may still be a chance for one to take legal action to secure benefits.
Source: money.usnews.com, “How You’re Reducing Your Social Security Benefit“, Emily Brandon, Aug. 11, 2014