Social Security can be a complex topic, and understanding your Social Security benefits can be a difficult feat. If you're overwhelmed by the prospect of filing your tax return or if you're concerned about the news that Social Security benefits could decrease by 20% in less than ten years, we're here to help explain these confusing topics in a simple fashion.
To guide you through some of the ins and outs of Social Security -- from what you need to know for tax season, to when you should look for your checks -- CNET has compiled this cheat sheet, which is regularly updated so you can stay on top of the latest details.
It's tax season. What do I need to know for my Social Security benefits?
Tax season is upon us. The final day to submit your tax return is Tuesday, April 18. Yes, it seems like you've got all the time in the world to file your return, but that deadline will sneakily creep up on you. Get your tax questions answered and file that return ASAP to avoid last-minute stress.
- Should I File a Tax Return if I Receive Social Security?
- This Handy Social Security Statement Helps You Out During Tax Season
- Got Tax Return Questions? Here's How to Call the IRS
When will I get my Social Security check?
Whether you're a new Social Security beneficiary or you've been receiving it for decades, knowing when your check will arrive each month is a must. Your payment date depends on your birthday and when you started receiving benefits. Each month, these stories are updated to reflect the exact dates for when the Social Security Administration will disburse your payment.
- Social Security 2023: When to Expect Your March Check
- Social Security Disability Insurance 2023: When to Expect Your March Check
How to apply for benefits
There are several different types of benefits you can receive from the Social Security Administration and other federal programs. Here's what they are and how to apply.
- How to Apply for Social Security Disability Benefits
- Can I Receive Supplemental Security Income if I'm not a US Citizen?
- How to Apply for Supplemental Security Income
- Social Security Benefits for Children: Who's Eligible, How to Apply and Payment Dates
- Temporary Assistance for Needy Families: How to Apply for TANF in Your State
I won't collect Social Security benefits for years. What should I know now?
Preparing for Social Security is important, regardless of how close you are to retirement. But it's never too early to learn about how your benefits will work once you're ready to begin collecting them.
- Social Security Money: Know This Before You Retire
- How to Determine the Best Time to Start Collecting Social Security
- The Truth About Social Security: We Have to Plan for the Unpredictable
- Pause Your Social Security Benefits to Potentially Get a Larger Payment Later. Here's How
- Social Security Benefits Could Drop by 20% by 2032, Government Report Says
Additional Social Security information that's important to know
Aside from Social Security benefits, knowing important information about your Social Security number and card can help prevent future mishaps. For instance, if you need a replacement Social Security card or need to know who it's OK to share your SSN with, we can help.
- Can't Find Your Social Security Card? Here's How to Request a New One
- When Is It Safe to Share Your Social Security Number?
- What Happens When I Get an Overpayment Notice from the SSA?
- Can You Change Your Social Security Number?
- Issues With Your Social Security? Here's How to Contact the Social Security Administration
How is Medicare related to Social Security?
Medicare insurance in the US is for those age 65 or older, or certain people with disabilities. The program is designed to help with the cost of healthcare and prescription drugs. Whether you receive it now or plan to in the future, it's good to brush up on how it works.
- Do You Have to Enroll in Medicare at 65? How It Works
- Medicare Cost Changes for 2023: How Much Cheaper Will Part B Premiums Be?
For additional health insurance information, here's what to know about Affordable Care Act health plans and how to save on health care if you don't have insurance.