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Social Security Retirement Benefits and Estimator

Old Age Benefits

This article provides resources and links to explain how you may qualify for social security retirement benefits. This article was written by the Social Security Administration.

Do I Qualify For Social Security Benefits?

Social Security is part of the retirement plan of almost every American worker. If you are among the 96 percent of workers who are covered under Social Security, you should know how the system works and what you should receive from Social Security when you retire.

This pamphlet, "Retirement Benefits," explains how you qualify for Social Security benefits, how your earnings and age can affect your benefits, what you should think about in deciding when to retire and why you should not rely only on Social Security for your retirement income.

Click the button below to apply for Social Security Retirements Benefits

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Retirement Benefit Estimator

This Retirement Estimator tool will give you a general idea of your Social Security Retirement Benefit. Please keep in mind these are only estimates, not an actual benefit amount. 

Who Can Use the Retirement Estimator
  • You have enough Social Security credits at this time to qualify for benefits and
  • You are not:
    • Currently receiving benefits on your own Social Security record;
    • Waiting for a decision about your application for benefits or Medicare;
    • Age 62 or older and receiving benefits on another Social Security record; or
    • Eligible for a Pension Based on Work Not Covered By Social Security.

Already receiving retirement benefits?

Social security retirement benefits are paid by either direct deposit or through the Direct Express Card program. When you applied for social security benefits, you should have signed up to receive your payments through one of these methods. The date on which your benefits will be paid is determined by the birthdate of the person whose work record earned the benefits. For example, if you receive benefits as a retired worker's spouse then your benefits will be paid based on your spouse's birthdate. Keep in mind that most social security retirement benefits are a taxable part of your income. It is also your responsibility to notify the Social Security administration if you move, your income changes, you change your name, get married or divorced, and other information that might affect your eligibility.

For more information about these topics as well as the impact of continued employment on your benefits, read "What You Need to Know When You Get Retirement or Survivor Benefits" by the Social Security Administration.

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