Many ask about receiving Social Security and unemployment at the same time. Unemployment insurance benefits are not counted under the Social Security annual earnings test and therefore do not affect receipt of Social Security benefits. However, the receipt of a pension or other retirement income, including Social Security and Railroad Retirement benefits, may reduce the unemployment benefit amount of an individual. The state unemployment office should be contacted to learn if and how the state applies a reduction.
If a survivor is eligible for retirement benefits on his or her own record, they can switch to their own retirement benefit as early as age 62, at their full retirement or wait until age 70. The full retirement age for survivors is not the same as the full retirement age for retirement.
The definition of disability under Social Security is different than other programs. Social Security pays only for total disability. No benefits are payable for partial disability or for short-term disability.
“Disability” under Social Security is based on your inability to work. Social Security considers you disabled if:
- You cannot do work that you did before;
- They decide that you cannot adjust to other work because of your medical condition(s); and
- Your disability has lasted or is expected to last for at least one year or to result in death.
You can have federal taxes withheld from your Social Security benefits. If you are already receiving benefits or if you want to change or stop your withholding, you’ll need a form W-4V from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). You can download the form, or call the IRS toll-free number 1-800-829-3676 and ask for Form W-4V, Voluntary Withholding Request. You will need to select the percentage of your monthly benefit amount you want withheld. You can have 7%, 10%, 15% or 25% of your monthly benefit withheld for taxes.