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anyone on this forum receive the Special Minimum Benefit social security?

My full retirement age is next year at 66.6 years. I have been a fulltime self employed person my entire career and have always filed my taxes as a "sole proprietor" taking advantage of the EITC (earned income tax credit) whereby I have always used credit card receipts, and various other bills as a "business write-off", thereby rendering my classification as one of the low income earners. I recently discovered if I were to file for regular SSA monthly benefits, I would get only $300 per month (in fact a week after I checked and saw that amount, I went back to re-verify and then it said $287!) - laughable, you cannot live on that in today's world.

I then did research and through my due diligence discovered there is a "special minimum primary insurance amount" or a special minimum social security amount available to "low earners" that can be sought out, which requires the applicant to have a minimum 40 work credits, which I do have. 

However, in doing my research it doesn't indicate as to how an eligible retiree would apply. Where would you go and to whom would you contact? I keep boxes of tax filings and records regarding earnings from years ago if the SSA needs it but a starting point would be great to know. Thank you

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Honored Social Butterfly

Before I read the responses that you have received thus far - I have a question.

During those years that you were filing taxes as a self-employed person - did you complete IRS Schedule SE each year with your taxes and pay your (computed) self-employment taxes based on your earnings?

It's Always Something . . . . Roseanna Roseannadanna
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Gold Conversationalist

@DanR124992 

 

Should you have access to a computer you can download and install a program (software) published by the SSA that will give you a very accurate estimate of your retirement benefit at the desired age, based on your actual wage history. This is more accurate/precise than the on-line calculators the SSA provides. This is the "Anypia32.exe" software.

 

Anypia32 shows in the output report the calculation for the Special Minimum Benefit. You need to enter your wage history, but you can copy this from the "My Social Security" account you can set up at the SSA.gov site (then enter into your Anypia32 input data).

Contributor

Much appreciated on the info regarding the "Anypia32.exe" software. I do in fact Have access to a computer. In fact it is the one I used for signing up to this particular AARP forum, and actually the one I am responding to you now with. I.e., Where does one go/navigate to access the link for downloading the "Anypia32.exe" software?

 

Is it found on the SSA.gov site, or? Thanks I appreciated your response

Gold Conversationalist

@DanR124992 

 

Y'know I meant to include the link.

 

Here it is. https://www.ssa.gov/oact/anypia/download.html

 

There's a bit of a learning curve but it's simple enough

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@DanR124992 

 

The Special Minimum Benefit is not something you separately apply for; this alternative benefit...a minimum benefit...provides a "floor" for long-term low wage earners. It will increase their benefit above that calculated by the "usual means" (the AIME, et al) based on the wage history. The SSA will automatically consider this when you apply for retirement benefits. 

 

Not too many retirees are covered under this provision. See this SSA article and this AARP article for some more information:

 

https://www.ssa.gov/policy/docs/program-explainers/special-minimum.html#:~:text=DEFINITION%3A%20The%....

 

https://blog.aarp.org/around-aarp/the-disappearing-social-security-minimum-benefit

 

Good luck!

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