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I will be signing up for benefits soon and have started researching the process. I plan on doing it online and the instructions say this

"We will ask for certain documents we need to review and process your application. These documents may include:

Your original birth certificate or other proof of your age. This must be the original document or a certified copy from the issuing agency."


The above instruction uses the word may.

So for those of you who have navigated the process, did you have to supply a birth certificate?

I do have my original birth certificate but there is no way I am going to mail it off to the SSA never to be seen again. If the online process insists on me providing, then screw the online process and I will go in to the SSA office and wait through the interminable lines.
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If the online process insists on me providing, then screw the online process and I will go in to the SSA office and wait through the interminable lines.

Make an appointment at a SSA office in a small town then show up at your appointment time.
That is what I did and it was very quick and very efficient.
I was shocked at how quickly it went.
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>>If the online process insists on me providing, then screw the online process and I will go in to the SSA office and wait through the interminable lines.<<

Make an appointment at a SSA office in a small town then show up at your appointment time.
That is what I did and it was very quick and very efficient.
I was shocked at how quickly it went. - wolferd1


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Thanks for that idea. I'll have to check into what SSA offices still exist around here. About ten years ago, they build a mega SSA office in a much bigger town about 15 miles away and I am afraid they may have consolidated the entire county into that office.
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>>Make an appointment at a SSA office in a small town then show up at your appointment time.
That is what I did and it was very quick and very efficient.
I was shocked at how quickly it went. - wolferd1<<

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Thanks for that idea. I'll have to check into what SSA offices still exist around here. About ten years ago, they build a mega SSA office in a much bigger town about 15 miles away and I am afraid they may have consolidated the entire county into that office.


Just my luck!!! I started looking into what small town office might be near here and found this.

https://secure.ssa.gov/ICON/main.jsp

Social Security Office Locator

On Tuesday, March 17, 2020, we suspended face-to-face service to the public in our field offices and hearings offices nationwide until further notice. However, we are still able to provide critical services via phone, fax and online.


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I have a few months to work with so maybe they will open up by then.
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It's been a couple of years, but we signed up on line. Easy-peasy. I was one year before FRA while spouse was right on FRA, and she did the 'restricted application', which means she gets 50% of my PIA while hers grows by 8%/year to age 70 then we have to go in person to switch over to hers....but you're saying all office visits are now kaput? Hmmm. That don't sound no good. We're still 1.5 years out, so I'll need to check early.

When we signed up no proof of birth certificate was required. We just answered a bunch of questions on-line and they sent us a couple of confirming e-mails we promptly responded to. No sweatsky.

BruceM
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Signed up for Medicare yet?

BruceM
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Signing up online works well. You fill out the online application, Provide all the info about Birth Certificate, Drivers License etc. If you have all the correct information they usually do not require you to send the documents in. They do return any that you are required to send.

Did you already sign up for an SSA Account online? This makes it easier to find the info you need.
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When we signed up no proof of birth certificate was required. We just answered a bunch of questions on-line and they sent us a couple of confirming e-mails we promptly responded to. No sweatsky.

BruceM


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Thanks Bruce, that is how I hope it goes for me.
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My state (GA) has a Vital Records website where you can request a certified copy of your birth certificate. The cost is like $10. While you still have time you might want to consider that option.

arahfool
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Signed up for Medicare yet?

BruceM


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Yep. I signed up for part A at age 65. I haven't done part B yet as I am still on a group medical plan. I am planning to finish up my Roth Conversions before signing up for Part B since the conversions push my AGI into the IRMAA Range costing an extra $320/mo for the Part B Premium.
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Signing up online works well. You fill out the online application, Provide all the info about Birth Certificate, Drivers License etc. If you have all the correct information they usually do not require you to send the documents in. They do return any that you are required to send.

Did you already sign up for an SSA Account online? This makes it easier to find the info you need. - Mike2020R


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Yep, when they stopped mailing an annual statements several years ago, I set up a online account at SSA so I could download the annual projections.
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My state (GA) has a Vital Records website where you can request a certified copy of your birth certificate. The cost is like $10. While you still have time you might want to consider that option.

arahfool


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That is a good idea. I will check into. It would be good to have backup for my BC just for general purposes. Thx.
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Just for general purposes I bought 2 certified copies of our and our kids' BCs some years ago. That came in handy when they got of age to want passports, etc. When I worked in foster care (teens) I always did an 18th birthday gift of same.

cm
you never know...
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Just for general purposes I bought 2 certified copies of our and our kids' BCs some years ago. That came in handy when they got of age to want passports, etc. When I worked in foster care (teens) I always did an 18th birthday gift of same.

cm
you never know...


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Good advice. Thx, you post reminds me that maybe my passport would satisfy the SSA if they start wanting documents.
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I do have my original birth certificate but there is no way I am going to mail it off to the SSA never to be seen again.

Let me make sure I understand -- you would give ups certainly 10s of thousands and possibly hundreds of thousands of dollars on the outside change you would have to spend maybe $25 to get another copy of your birth certificate.

Wow you really place a great deal of value in a replaceable piece of paper.
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>>I do have my original birth certificate but there is no way I am going to mail it off to the SSA never to be seen again.<<

Let me make sure I understand -- you would give ups certainly 10s of thousands and possibly hundreds of thousands of dollars on the outside change you would have to spend maybe $25 to get another copy of your birth certificate. - GWPotter


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No you do not understand. There is another alternative that doesn't require forgoing tens of thousands.
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BHM: . I signed up for part A at age 65. I haven't done part B yet as I am still on a group medical plan. I am planning to finish up my Roth Conversions before signing up for Part B since the conversions push my AGI into the IRMAA Range costing an extra $320/mo for the Part B Premium.

IIRC, the IRMAA is based on the tax year during which a person turns 63 years old.

Therefore, assuming a person hit the 65th birthday this year,, 2020, the income tax form filed in 2018 is the IRMAA determinant year.


63rd BD year. 65th BD year.
(tax YEAR for IRMAA) Medicare sign up year
2017. 2019.
2018. 2020
2019. 2021
2020. 2022.
And so on.
BD is birthday.


Furthermore, if some income aberration causes the AGI during the 63rd Birthday year to exceed the limits, it is possible to challenge the IRMAA decision.

I hope someone corrects my understandings, or mis-statements.
😷
ralph
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BHM: . I signed up for part A at age 65. I haven't done part B yet as I am still on a group medical plan. I am planning to finish up my Roth Conversions before signing up for Part B since the conversions push my AGI into the IRMAA Range costing an extra $320/mo for the Part B Premium.

IIRC, the IRMAA is based on the tax year during which a person turns 63 years old. - rainphakir


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I don't hold myself up as being any sort of expert so am open for correction, but....

I researched this and I think there is a two year look back regardless of your age.

I turn 70 in 2021 and will start SS since there is no more increase due to deferral. I will not sign up for Part B in 2021 but if I did, IRMAA would set my 2021 premium based on my AGI for tax year 2019. And still being on Part B in 2022, then my 2022 premium would be based on a look back to tax year 2020, and so on.
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When the time comes and you retire and sign up for part B, You should investigate form SSA44. If you had a life-event (retiring or others) Fill out the form and send it in. You will be asked about how the change affects your income and Irmaa.

I am using part A and Part B and paying Irmaa. Retiring this year so expect the income to reduce and hope to stop Irmaa at the start of 2021 as 2021 earnings will be under the limit. Check it out.
Best of Luck.

Mike
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Thanks BHM.
I thought it was a one time thing, based solely on the year one turns 63.
From your answer, and some research, it appears that IRMAA condition is reset each year.

I'll be enrolling in Medicare in the near future, and have been paying more and more attention.
Thanks again, for helping me better understand.

😷
ralph
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You will be subject to IRMAA whenever your income exceeds the limits for higher premiums. They will remain in effect until your income falls below the limit.

Unfortunately, if you have a substantial traditional IRA, RMD withdrawals along with increases in Social Security benefits will trigger IRMAA as you age. The death of a spouse also triggers IRMAA.
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It's been a couple of years, but we signed up on line. Easy-peasy. I was one year before FRA while spouse was right on FRA, and she did the 'restricted application', which means she gets 50% of my PIA while hers grows by 8%/year to age 70 then we have to go in person to switch over to hers....but you're saying all office visits are now kaput? Hmmm. That don't sound no good. We're still 1.5 years out, so I'll need to check early.

When we signed up no proof of birth certificate was required. We just answered a bunch of questions on-line and they sent us a couple of confirming e-mails we promptly responded to. No sweatsky.

BruceM


I also did the restricted application and got 50% of DH's SS and mine grew to 8%. There is NO place on the SS website that tells you how to handle the change! I had to call twice and got different answers on how to make the change!

Here is what I learned. Wait until 90 days until your wife is to turn 70 and call Social Security and make a phone appointment. They call you and they called me right on time and it took less than 10 minutes for her to ask me a few easy questions and explain what will happen. That's it!

Utahtea
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For some reason they decided they needed to see my original birth certificate. Like you, I didn't want to trust that I'd get the original back. This was 4 years ago and I made an appointment and took it in. It was a good thing too, because what I though was my birth certificate wasn't the document they wanted. I had two items that had information so I'm glad I took both in!

For DH they didn't require his.

Utahtea
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Utahtea
Very good info...thanks!

We've still got a couple of years, but I've written down what you said.

Interestingly, for those who did the 'File and Suspend' or the 'Suspended Application', the SS administration does NOT notify you when it's time to switch. If you miss it, tough terriaki.

BruceM
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