Ask Terry Questions Social Security when to claim

Social Security when to claim

By Terry Savage on April 10, 2024 | Wild Card

Terry, I am currently 69 years old and in August will be 70.

I saw on the social security website I can apply for benefits 4 months in advance of when I want to receive my first payment

My question is if I apply in May when I am 69 years old and schedule my first payment for September when I am 70 years old what age will social security use to determine my payment?

When I apply at 69 or when I receive my first payment when I am 70?

Given I have waited to claim benefits, I don’t want to error and claim early and receive a reduced payment.


Terry Says

You’re wise to be careful. Here’s how SS is paid:
Social Security pays a month behind, so expect your first payment to arrive the month after your 70th birthday. For example, if you were born on May 10, you’d request that your benefits start in May and receive the first payment in June.

I suggest you start the process two months before your birthday. And if you want to be sure you’re getting the correct benefit at age 70, go to and pay $39 to get the correct calculation. It’s worth it!



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