Can you collect Social Security benefits in the US without having worked?

(CNN Spanish) — The maximum amount you can receive for Social Security benefits in 2022 is US$4,194 per month, a figure that corresponds to you if you decided to retire at the highest expected age, that is, 70 years old, and you are in the category of higher earnings.

Retirement age is a key factor in determining how much you’ll collect for Social Security benefits. You can retire from 62 to 70. If you decide to do it before full retirement age, which is between 66 and 67 depending on the date you were born, the monthly amount you will receive will be less than what you I would play according to your earnings. If you retire after that age, the amount will have an increase for each month that you delay in requesting the benefit.

To understand the different possibilities, the Social Security Administration (SSA) uses the following example: imagine that, based on your earnings, the benefit that corresponds to you if you retire at full retirement age is US$ 1,000. If you decide to retire earlier, for example at 62, you will collect US$750. However, if you delay the withdrawal until you are 70, the figure will increase to US$1,320 per month. In the event that you are in a relationship, this not only benefits you but also your spouse in case you die first.

If you decided to retire at 62, the maximum amount you could receive this 2022 is US$3,345. If, on the other hand, you chose to wait until full retirement age, the maximum would be $3,345.

Age is a fundamental factor, but not the only one that impacts the amount to be collected. For most workers, the calculation is done in the same way, but there are special rules in the cases of workers of the federal government, farms, religious or non-profit organizations and domestic employees, among other categories that you can consult on this SSA page.

In addition, if you are a pension beneficiary, your Social Security benefits may be affected, as well as if you have to pay taxes for this concept.

Changes in Social Security beneficiaries for 2023

Many seniors rely heavily on Social Security. About 42% of older women and 37% of older men rely on monthly payments for at least half of their income, according to the Social Security Administration.

Social Security recipients will receive an 8.7% annual cost-of-living adjustment next year, the largest increase since 1981, the SSA announced.

The measure will increase retirees’ monthly payments by $146 to an estimated average of $1,827 by 2023.

The sharp increase, which follows a 5.9% adjustment for this year, is intended to help beneficiaries cope with the high inflation that has plagued the United States since last year.

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