Social Security Retirement Insurance


To replace part of the earnings lost due to retirement.

General information about this opportunity
Last Known Status
Program Number
Federal Agency/Office
Social Security Administration
Type(s) of Assistance Offered
D - Direct Payments With Unrestricted Use
Program Accomplishments
Not applicable.
Social Security Act of 1935, Title II, as amended, Title II, Public Law 401-208, 42 U.S.C. 401-433
Who is eligible to apply/benefit from this assistance?
Applicant Eligibility
Retired workers age 62 and over who have worked the required number of years under Social Security are eligible for monthly benefits. Coverage credits under the social security systems of certain foreign countries with which the U.S. has reciprocal agreements may be taken into account to meet the requirements. If an eligible worker age 62 or over receives benefits before full-benefit retirement age (FRA)(age 66 for workers age 62 in 2005), the individual's retirement benefit will be permanently reduced. Also, certain family members can receive benefits including: (1) A wife or husband age 62 or over; (2) a spouse at any age, if a child who is under age 16 or is disabled is in his or her care and is entitled to benefits based on the worker's record; (3) unmarried children under age 18 (or under age 19 for students in elementary or secondary school); (4) unmarried adult offspring at any age if disabled before age 22; and (5) divorced wives or husbands age 62 or over who were married to the worker for at least 10 years. Beginning January 1985, spouses ages 62 or over who have been divorced for at least 2 years (and married to the worker for at least 10 years) may become entitled to benefits regardless of whether the former spouse who is at least age 62 and fully insured has applied for benefits. Effective January 1991, the 2-year waiting period for payment of divorced spouse's benefits without regard to the former spouse's earnings was waived if the former spouse was entitled to benefits prior to the divorce. All benefits, other than benefits to disabled beneficiaries, and beneficiaries FRA and older, are subject to an earnings test. Beginning with the year 2000, the retirement earnings test was eliminated beginning with the month in which the beneficiary reaches FRA. A person at and above FRA will not have Social Security benefits reduced because of earnings. In the calendar year in which a beneficiary reaches FRA, benefits are reduced $1 for every $3 of earnings above the limit allowed by law, $31,800 in 2005, but this reduction is applied only to months prior to attainment of FRA. For years before the year the beneficiary attains FRA, the reduction in benefits is $1 for every $2 of earnings over the annual exempt amount, $16,920 in 2017. For workers who are first eligible after 1985 for both (a) a pension based on non-covered employment; and (b) Social Security retirement (or disability) benefits, a different benefit formula applies which provides somewhat lower benefits. The Social Security benefit for a spouse of a retired worker is subject to a pension offset if the spouse receives a governmental pension based on his or her own work in non-covered employment. However, the offset does not apply if: (i) the person has received or became eligible to receive the pension before December 1, 1982, and met eligibility requirements for Social Security auxiliaries' benefits as they existed in January 1977; or (ii) if the person receives, or is eligible to receive, the pension before July 1, 1983, and the person was dependent on his or her spouse for at least one-half support at the time the spouse died, became disabled or became entitled to Social Security benefits. The amount of the public pension used for purposes of the offset against Social Security spouse's benefits is equal to two-thirds of the public pension. The benefit for the spouse of a retired worker is also offset dollar for dollar by the amount of any Social Security benefit the spouse receives based on his or her own work. Effective for those who have reached age 62 since August 1981, a retired worker or spouse can receive benefits only for months in which he or she has attained at least age 62 for the entire month. No benefit can be paid to an alien in the United States unless he or she is lawfully present in the United States. In addition, an alien cannot qualify for benefits if he or she never had a work-authorized SocialSeurity Number (SSN) effective for benefit applications based on SSNs issued after 2003).
Beneficiary Eligibility
Benefits are paid to retired workers age 62 and over who have worked the required number of years under Social Security, and to certain family members.
Proof of age is required. If applying for benefits for auxiliaries, additional proofs of age, dependency, and relationship to the retired worker may be required. To receive benefits, auxiliaries must have a SSN.
What is the process for applying and being award this assistance?
Pre-Application Procedure
Preapplication coordination is not applicable.
Application Procedure
2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards applies to this program. Call toll free at 1 (800) 772-1213 or, telephone or visit the local Social Security Office. Retired workers, spouses and divorced spouses may also apply via the Internet.
Award Procedure
After review of the application is completed, the applicant (or representative payee) will be notified by mail.
January 1, 2017 to December 31, 2017 It is to the worker's advantage to apply for benefits in the three months before he or she retires. Retroactivity is limited to 6 months if unreduced benefits are being awarded. No retroactivity is provided where reduced benefits are being awarded.
Approval/Disapproval Decision Time
Not applicable.
Not applicable.
Not applicable.
How are proposals selected?
Not applicable.
How may assistance be used?
Monthly cash benefits are paid to eligible retired workers and their eligible auxiliaries. There are no restrictions on use of benefits by a beneficiary, although the right to future benefits is not transferable or assignable.
What are the requirements after being awarded this opportunity?
Not applicable.
Not applicable.
Any change in address or eligibility requirements (such as work status, marital or family status, or school attendance) must be reported to the Social Security Office when it occurs.
Other Assistance Considerations
Formula and Matching Requirements
Statutory formula is not applicable to this assistance listing.

Matching requirements are not applicable to this assistance listing.

MOE requirements are not applicable to this assistance listing.
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance
N/A Contact Local Office for more information
Who do I contact about this opportunity?
Regional or Local Office
Consult Appendix IV of the Catalog.
Headquarters Office
Room 4100, Annex, Social Security Administration
Baltimore , MD 21235 US
Phone: 1-800-772-1213
Website Address
Financial Information
Account Identification
(Direct Payments with Unrestricted Use) FY 16 Estimate Not Available FY 17 Estimate Not Available FY 18 Estimate Not Available
Range and Average of Financial Assistance
Monthly cash benefits for a worker retiring at full retirement age (FRA) in 2017 range up to $2,687 and to a maximum of $4,702.60 for a family of such a worker receiving benefits. As of December 31, 2016, the average benefit paid to a retired worker alone (no family members receiving benefits) was $1,360 and the average amount payable to a retired worker with an eligible spouse was $1,574.
Regulations, Guidelines and Literature
Code of Federal Regulations, Title 20, Parts 401, 404, and 422. "Your Social Security", "Thinking About Retiring", and many other publications are available from any Social Security office without charge.
Examples of Funded Projects
Not applicable.


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