Do I Need To Ask SSA To Use The Annual Earnings Test Instead Of The Monthly Test?

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Aug 24 2018 - 9:32am

Hi, I have a question about the Earnings Test. I will be 63 this year and plan to have my SS retirement benefits start Jan 1 2019. I also plan on working part time starting Jan 2019 and expect to have varying months of income but totally around 16,000 for 2019, probably under the 2019 annual earnings limit. Will SSA use either the monthly or annual earnings test for my first benefit/grace year. Do I have to request SSA use the annual earnings test when I first apply or do they choose? Thank you in advance for your help!

Hi,

The Social Security Administration (SSA) always uses the annual earnings test unless the monthly test is more advantageous for the beneficiary. SSA never even considers using the monthly test unless a person earns more than the annual exempt amount. Therefore, as long as you earn less than the 2019 annual exempt amount Social Security will default to using the annual test in your case. You won't need to ask them to do so.

Before deciding when to file for benefits, you should strongly consider using our maximization software to explore and compare your various filing options in order to make sure that you choose the best possible filing strategy.

Best, Jerry