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Knowing your future Social Security benefits is now simple as using the phone or internet. The office of Social Security Administration offer an estimate of all future Social Security benefits to any member who pays tax. Just submit a copy of Form SSA-7004. You can get a copy thru the SSA Office or just by calling 800-772-1213 or apply over the Internet at their official website. (www.ssa.gov.) Complete the forms' questions, such as your name, Social Security number, date of birth, previous years’ earnings, the age at which you plan to retire, and how much you expect to earn between now and retirement.

Based on the information and records of your previous Social Security payments, the Social Security Administration will calculate your benefits under different conditions. In just four to six weeks you will receive your 8-page Personal Earnings and Benefit Estimate Statement. This document lists the benefits you’re likely to receive upon your retirement. There are different figures based on different possible scenarios. Your report will contain a calculation estimate of your monthly retirement check from Social Security, in presently dollars, based on when you’re planning to retire. It will contain a calculation estimate of the amount you would receive if you were to wait until full retirement age, and an estimate of the larger benefit you would receive if you were to continue working until you are 70 years old.

The value of Social Security survivor’s benefits for an average wage earner who dies and leaves a spouse and two children is equivalent to a $322,000 life Insurance policy. Of course, Social Security benefits are paid monthly and not in a one time payment. The average monthly payment for a family consisting of a widow(er) with two children is about $1,400 per month. Social Security payments increase based on the annual cost-of-living index -- something few private Insurance plans offer.

Based on your age, your family can receive special survivor’s benefits in the event of your death. Your children will receive a percentage of your retirement benefit until they reach age 18, and your spouse will receive your full benefit when he or she turns 65. This report estimates the value of these benefits as well. If you are unable to work for at least a year or if you are terminally ill, you’ll be eligible to receive disability benefits. Your report will also include an estimate of the size of these benefits. Like survivor’s benefits, disability benefits include income for dependent children.

Finally, your report will contain a year-by-year statement of your earnings that were subject to Social Security withholding. You should carefully check these numbers against your own records; occasionally the Social Security Administration commis mistakes. It’s best to resolve any discrepancies long before you need the retirement benefits.
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