GENERAL

My child, who gets Social Security, will be attending his last year of high school in the fall. He turns 19 in a few months. Do I need to fill out a form for his benefits to continue?

Yes. You should receive a form, SSA-1372-BK, in the mail about three months before your son’s birthday. Your son needs to complete the form and take it to his school’s office for certification. Then, you need to return page two and the certified page three back to Social Security for processing. If you can’t find the form we mailed to you, you can find it online at: www.socialsecurity.gov/forms/ssa-1372.pdf.

RETIREMENT

I’m trying to figure out the best time to retire based on my future earnings. How can I calculate my own retirement benefit estimate?

We suggest you use our Retirement Estimator at www.socialsecurity.gov/estimator. Our Retirement Estimator produces estimates based on your actual Social Security earnings record, so it’s a personalized, instant picture of your future estimated benefit. Also, you can use it to test different retirement scenarios based on what age you decide to start benefits. For example, you can find out your estimated monthly payments if you retire at age 62, 70, or any age in between. Try it out now at www.socialsecurity.gov/estimator.

DISABILITY

How do I know if I have worked long enough to qualify for Social Security disability benefits?

You must have worked long enough — and recently enough — under Social Security to qualify for disability benefits. Social Security work credits are based on your total yearly wages or self-employment income. You can earn up to four credits each year. The amount needed for a credit changes from year to year. The number of work credits you need to qualify for disability benefits depends on your age when you become disabled. Generally, you need 40 credits, 20 of which you earned in the last 10 years, ending with the year you become disabled. However, younger workers may qualify with fewer credits. To learn more, see our Disability Planner at www.socialsecurity.gov/dibplan/dqualify3.htm.

MEDICARE

I have diabetes and I have to take insulin. Is my insulin covered by Medicare?

Medicare Part B does not cover insulin unless use of an insulin pump is medically necessary. However, certain Medicare Part D prescription drug plans may cover insulin and certain supplies used to inject insulin, like syringes. For more information, please visit www.medicare.gov/coverage/insulin.html.

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