Human Resource Administration

Leadership on all human resource-related issues

80 Lower College Road, Kingston, RI 02881

urihr@ucs.uri.edu401.874.2416 - 401.874.5741 (fax)

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Applying for Social Security

  •     Generally, you should apply for Social Security retirement benefits three months before you want your benefits to begin.  Even if you don’t plan to receive benefits right away, you should still sign up for Medicare three months before you reach age 65.
  •     If you were born before 1938 and you meet all other requirements, you can receive benefits beginning with the first full month you are age 62.  However, if you choose to begin receiving benefits before age 65, your benefits will be reduced to account for the longer period over which you will be paid.
  •     The full retirement age is 65 for persons born before 1938.  The age gradually rises until it reaches 67 for persons born in 1960 or later.  Social Security benefits are payable at full retirement age (with reduced benefits available as early as age 62) for anyone with enough Social Security credits.  As you work and pay taxes, you earn “credits” that count towards eligibility for future Social Security benefits.  You can earn a maximum of four credits each year.  Most people need 40 credits (10 years of work) to qualify for benefits.  People who delay retirement beyond full retirement age get special credit for each month they don’t receive a benefit until they reach age 70.
  •     You should speak with a Social Security representative in the year before you plan to retire.  It may be to your advantage to start receiving your retirement benefits before you actually stop working.
  •     To file for Social Security benefits, get information, or speak with a Social Security representative, call the toll-free number- 1-866-964-2038 (Warwick, RI.)  You also can call that number to set up an appointment to visit your local Social Security office.  The lines are busiest early in the week and early in the month, so, if your business can wait, it’s best to call at other times.
  •     When you file for benefits, you need to submit documents that show you’re eligible, such as
    • a birth certificate for each family member applying for benefits,
    • a marriage certificate if your spouse is applying, and
    • your most recent W-2 form (or tax return if you’re self-employed).
  •     Social Security Administration treats all calls confidentially – whether they are made to the toll-free numbers, or to one of the local offices.

Have questions?  Call Pat Victoria at 874-2921.

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