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Yet another applying for SS post
Old 02-04-2024, 10:30 AM   #1
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Yet another applying for SS post

Sorry, I tried searching, but couldnít find relevant threads.

Curious the experience of those that have applied for SS if you are already enrolled in Medicare.

Planning on applying for SS benefits online. When I read SS webpage they talk about various documents (birth certificate, etc) that may be required to submit.

Am I wrong in assuming, given that already getting Medicare, the application process for SS should be a basic formality?
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Old 02-04-2024, 10:52 AM   #2
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Although I have heard about people having varying experiences, when I applied for SS after being on Medicare for several years, I did it online with minimal information needed. I did not submit any documentation, merely waiting out my time while my application was processed which took almost three months.

Note that when you apply on line there is no option to have taxes withheld if that is something you would want. You would need to submit a W-4V via snail mail. My withholdings were effective with my first SS payment.
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Old 02-04-2024, 11:16 AM   #3
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Although I have heard about people having varying experiences, when I applied for SS after being on Medicare for several years, I did it online with minimal information needed. I did not submit any documentation, merely waiting out my time while my application was processed which took almost three months.

Note that when you apply on line there is no option to have taxes withheld if that is something you would want. You would need to submit a W-4V via snail mail. My withholdings were effective with my first SS payment.

Thank you. I was hoping as much. Also sounds like we should use to its fullest the four month period to file before receiving benefits.
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Old 02-04-2024, 12:03 PM   #4
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My experience was much like 5Miler. Filing early probably won't do much for you. I filed early for spousal (back when you could still do that). It still wasn't processed/approved until about 2 weeks before I got my first check. Then when I switched over to my own benefits, I decided on Jan 1 of that year to do so and filed (on-line) on January 1 for benefits to start in January. It was approved in 10 days. It's my understanding they will process the ones for the current month first and don't do much with the early filers because there is no hurry.
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Old 02-04-2024, 12:07 PM   #5
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Note that when you apply on line there is no option to have taxes withheld if that is something you would want. You would need to submit a W-4V via snail mail. My withholdings were effective with my first SS payment.
Just wanted to comment on this. I've read of some Boglehead's having success specifying their w/h amounts they wanted in the comments section of their SS application. But you can only specify the rates of 7%, 10%, 12%, or 22%. You are limited to only these percentages. (If anyone applies after tax law changes, they may want to double check to see if these percentages have changed.)

One person commented that they made the mistake of trying to specify a different percentage than the customary, and it seems to have stopped the approval process for them.

Also, the w/h happens after Medicare is deducted. Just pointing this out since some people expect the w/h to happen before the cost of Medicare is deducted.
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Old 02-04-2024, 01:02 PM   #6
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Note that when you apply on line there is no option to have taxes withheld if that is something you would want. You would need to submit a W-4V via snail mail. My withholdings were effective with my first SS payment.
But you can set that up if you apply in person at a local office (like I did) or by phone (like my wife did). Still those same standard percentages though.
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Old 02-04-2024, 01:17 PM   #7
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Note that those standard percentages are not applied to your gross SS benefit, but to the remaining amount after Medicare premium is deducted...
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Old 02-04-2024, 01:24 PM   #8
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....Also, the w/h happens after Medicare is deducted. Just pointing this out since some people expect the w/h to happen before the cost of Medicare is deducted.
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Note that those standard percentages are not applied to your gross SS benefit, but to the remaining amount after Medicare premium is deducted...
Thanks for this tip; I did not realize this was the case.
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Old 02-04-2024, 01:39 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by LARS View Post
Sorry, I tried searching, but couldnít find relevant threads.

Curious the experience of those that have applied for SS if you are already enrolled in Medicare.

Planning on applying for SS benefits online. When I read SS webpage they talk about various documents (birth certificate, etc) that may be required to submit.

Am I wrong in assuming, given that already getting Medicare, the application process for SS should be a basic formality?
If SSA previously had documentation which verified your date of birth, they may not need any further info.

If your spouse is filing on your record, there may be additional documentation needed, such as a marriage certificate. I know someone who did their online application just fine, waited months, then was contacted that his spouse needed a separate application, which then was an additional step and delay.

I personally prefer an appointment in the office or over the phone. That way I know the office my claim is in, the worker who has the case, and knowledge of exactly which documents are needed without waiting for months. I have heard that sometimes claims done online are processed through a "Payment Center" which could be who knows where? I prefer local access. Your local office info can be found at SSA.gov

Retirement applications can be very simple things and could be processed on the spot at first contact if all goes well. I think it is a good idea to ask for the worker's name, phone number AND extension, and work email.
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Old 02-04-2024, 01:49 PM   #10
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But you can set that up if you apply in person at a local office (like I did) or by phone (like my wife did). Still those same standard percentages though.
The tax withholding form can be found at ssa.gov, and could be taken into the office at time of filing in person or later if desired.
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Old 02-04-2024, 01:57 PM   #11
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An fyi if having trouble getting through on phone to make an appointment--which I have heard comments about many times--it is possible to go to ssa.gov, find the local office, and if it is convenient and close to where one lives, find out what the office hours are online and walk in the last half hour before closing time to avoid possibly waiting for hours, and make an appointment. An appointment is an easy and quick thing to do. That is my preference. Others choose differently.
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Old 02-04-2024, 02:00 PM   #12
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But you can set that up if you apply in person at a local office (like I did) or by phone (like my wife did). Still those same standard percentages though.
If you don't mind me asking, when you applied in person at the local office, did you get immediate confirmation during that appointment that your application was approved, and if so, were they also able to confirm the amount you would be receiving?

My local office is just 5 miles from me, and my current plan is to apply in person (for a variety of reasons) in two years when I turn 70.
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Old 02-04-2024, 02:03 PM   #13
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If you don't mind me asking, when you applied in person at the local office, did you get immediate confirmation during that appointment that your application was approved, and if so, were they also able to confirm the amount you would be receiving?
It was a long time ago, but as best as I can recall, yes and yes.
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Old 02-04-2024, 02:06 PM   #14
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It was a long time ago, but as best as I can recall, yes and yes.
Thanks very much!
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Old 02-04-2024, 10:57 PM   #15
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It was a long time ago, but as best as I can recall, yes and yes.
While the wheels of government agencies move slowly, things can change over a long enough period time.
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Old 02-04-2024, 11:19 PM   #16
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An fyi if having trouble getting through on phone to make an appointment--which I have heard comments about many times--it is possible to go to ssa.gov, find the local office, and if it is convenient and close to where one lives, find out what the office hours are online and walk in the last half hour before closing time to avoid possibly waiting for hours, and make an appointment. An appointment is an easy and quick thing to do. That is my preference. Others choose differently.

My experience is the line at the Social Security Office is always longer than 60 minutes from the minute it opens to the the time it closes. And if you do manage to get an appointment, it'll be weeks in the future. So far I've been there twice. I just waited it out. Both times took over two hours.
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Old 02-05-2024, 09:38 AM   #17
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My experience is the line at the Social Security Office is always longer than 60 minutes from the minute it opens to the the time it closes. And if you do manage to get an appointment, it'll be weeks in the future. So far I've been there twice. I just waited it out. Both times took over two hours.
This can be very true, depending on the size of the office and time of the day/week/month.

This is why I personally would never visit an office at the beginning of the month or earlier in the day.

The reason I mentioned going in the last half hour of the day is because I have seen that offices will call up other employees at the end of the day to try to clear out the office by closing time. Maybe not true everywhere.

Also, it is quite common for an appointment to be scheduled weeks in advance, but I would rather have that, knowing where my claim is and who has it, than it being in some payment center, somewhere else which might be more difficult to contact/work with. But that is just my own preference.
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Old 02-06-2024, 12:29 PM   #18
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Sort of a sidetrack to the topic. When I applied for SS online, the application asked if I also wanted to apply for Medicare, since I am requesting to start SS at 65. I indicated yes, and submitted the form on January 9th. They indicated the process *usually* takes 2-4 weeks.

Well, it's now been four weeks, and the online status still indicates they are reviewing my application. I have not received any communication regarding this application other than an email confirmation it was submitted. No phone call. No other email. No snail mail.

Is this normal? I was hoping to start both SS (1st payment) and Medicare in April. Did I give myself enough time?
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Old 02-06-2024, 12:44 PM   #19
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I applied for SS online and a few weeks later they called me and asked me some questions. I didn’t have to send in any paperwork.
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Old 02-06-2024, 12:48 PM   #20
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I applied for SS online and a few weeks later they called me and asked me some questions. I didnít have to send in any paperwork.
No contact from SS so far. DW started SS nearly seven years ago on her own working record, so that shouldn't be an issue. I can't create a Medicare account since I don't have a Medicare card or number to work with. I guess I am just beginning the frustrating process of dealing with SS and Medicare.
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