Social Security Tips – April 2018


April is National Social Security Month.

Learn what you can do online at From estimating future benefits, to filing for benefits to managing current benefits, you can take control right now.

For over 80 years, Social Security has transformed to meet the rapid changing needs of the public. Today, individuals can apply for retirement, spouses, disability, and Medicare benefits online; find answers to over 200 of their most frequently asked questions, and much more. Why wait? They can get started right now by creating a mySocialSecurity account to verify their earnings, see an estimate of future benefits, and manage monthly benefits once they begin. In addition, they can check the status of their claim or appeal; request a replacement Social Security card, and get an instant benefit verification letter.

Celebrate National Social Security Month by reviewing what you can do online at




The next scheduled retirement planning webinar is Thursday, April 26 at 2:00 p.m. ET. There’s still room for you to join.

Social Security Retirement Planning: It’s Never Too Early or Too Late to Start Planning

This webinar is offered once a month from February through November at varying days and times for your convenience.  Please be sure and register for the date and time that works best for you.

Register now!

You can never be too early or too late when it comes time to planning for a secure retirement. There are many factors to consider when making that monumental decision and one of them is Social Security. We know that navigating a government program can be overwhelming, intimidating and daunting. However, you will be amazed at how easy it is to work with Social Security, to navigate their planning resources, get your questions answered and utilize the online tools to ensure you make the right decision.

This webinar will provide details not only on the retirement program but will cover the not so common filing strategy options when it comes to spouses and divorced spouses benefits, key factors to consider when determining the right time to file, how you can work and collect benefits at the same time and how and when to file the application. In addition, find out how your decision on when to file for retirement benefits can affect widow(er)s benefits and learn about Medicare – when you must have it and when you don’t need it.

The presenter is Vonda VanTil, Social Security Public Affairs Specialist in Grand Rapids MI. Vonda has been with the agency for 27 years and has vast experience in conducting public outreach, education and training. Take the first step in planning for your future by taking advantage of this interactive free webinar provided by a Social Security employee.

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

View System Requirements




The Q&A for the month:

Question: I have a female client, she’s 62 and on SSDI. She legally divorced her husband about 14 years ago and he is currently 49 years old. He remarried. They were married over 10 years before they divorced. She is currently not married. (1) At what point can she collect SS benefits from her ex-husband? What would be the % that she can collect, if she can? (2) And, if and when she turns 65 and receives retirement SS, can she collect SS from her x-husband?  How does this work? Please advise.

Answer: Your client must be 62 or older, unmarried and her ex-spouse must be 62 or older or receiving disability benefits in order for her to file on his record. In addition, her disability benefit must be less than half of her ex-spouse’s full benefit amount in order for her to be eligible for additional benefits on his record. Because they’ve been divorced for at least 2 years, once her ex turns 62, she can look into the additional divorced spouse’s benefits at that time, she doesn’t have to wait for him to file. As for her SSDI at 65, nothing changes, she remains on SSDI. See FAQ.


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