10 Things you may not know about Social Security

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Unemployment and Social Security Benefits

Unemployment insurance benefits are not counted under the Social Security annual earnings test and therefore do not affect your receipt of Social Security benefits. However, the unemployment benefit amount of an individual may be reduced by the receipt of a pension or other retirement income, including Social Security and Railroad Retirement benefits.

Social Security Benefits while living overseas

If you are a U. S. citizen, you may receive your Social Security benefits outside the United States as long as you are eligible. Payments cannot be sent to certain countries. Check with Social Security for details and restrictions.

I found the following on a related note about Medicare coverage while outside the U.S.:

Medicare generally does not cover health care while you are outside the United States. Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, and the Northern Mariana Islands are considered part of the United States.

In rare cases, however, Medicare may pay for inpatient hospital services provided in Canada or Mexico if:

  • You live in the United States and a foreign hospital is closer or easier to get to from your home than the nearest United States hospital that can provide the care you need; or
  • You are in the United States when you have a medical emergency and a foreign hospital is closer or easier to get to than the nearest United States hospital that can treat your emergency; or
  • You are crossing through Canada without delay between Alaska and another state and have a medical emergency and a Canadian hospital is closer or easier to get to than the nearest United States hospital that can treat your emergency.

Working and receiving Social Security benefits

The amount you can earn while receiving Social Security depends on your age. Your earnings in (and after) the month you reach full retirement age will not affect your Social Security benefits. However, your benefit is reduced if your earnings exceed certain limits for the months before you reach your full retirement age.

If you are under full retirement age for the entire year:

  • You can earn $15,120 gross wages or net self-employment a year and not lose any benefits in 2013.
  • Social Security will deduct $1 in benefits for every $2 earned above $15,120.

In the year you reach full retirement age:

  • You can earn $40,080 gross wages or net self-employment prior to the month you reach full retirement age and not lose any benefits in 2013.
  • Social Security deduct $1 in benefits for every $3 earned above $40,080.
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    2 Comments

    1. You might also want to mention the Survivor Benefits for those who are widowed.

    2. You explained that a divorced spouse can apply for spousal benefits even if the former spouse has not yet applied for benefits.

      Is that the same if a married spouse files for spousal benefits of a spouse who is over 65 but who has put off filing for benefits until she is 70?

      My husband is 5 years younger than I. WHen I turn 70, he will be 65. The plan is for me to apply for SS benefits when I turn 70, while he files for spousal benefits until he is 70.

      My question is, what if I die before I turn 70 and apply for benefits? Will my spouse be able to apply for spousal benefits when he is 65 even if I didn’t live long enough to apply at 70 (but am over 65 of course)?

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