Social Security and You: When and How to Apply for Social Security Benefits | Economic news

Hundreds of thousands of people will be applying for Social Security benefits in 2022. So today I’m going to write a column about when and how to apply for Social Security benefits.

But first, let me clarify the “when to file” part. As I have said over and over again in this column, I am not a financial planner. So, I really can’t advise you on the best time to start your Social Security benefits. It’s a decision that only you can make, perhaps after consulting a real financial planner.

I’m just an old Social Security retiree. All I can do is explain the Social Security rules to you to help you make this decision. (In my book “Social Security – Simple and Smart” I have an entire chapter devoted to this topic, you might want to check it out. You can order the book online at

So whether you make that decision on your own or with the help of my book or a financial planner, once you’ve decided what month you want your benefits to begin, a lot of you still want to know. how far in advance you need to deposit for these benefits. And this is the “when to drop” advice that I offer in this column.

Let me start by pointing out something. Your Social Security eligibility date is always a month, not a day. For example, let’s say you were born on January 28, 1956 and want your benefits to begin when you reach full retirement age. The full retirement age for people born in 1956 is 66 years and 4 months. So you will reach full retirement age on May 28, 2022. But the day you reach FRA is not much of a problem. The month is the key. In other words, your eligibility date is not May 28, 2022. It’s just May 2022.

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