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Social Security questions and answers

Question: I need to get something from Social Security to verify my income. How can I do that?

Answer: We provide three types of income proof.

1. A benefit verification letter shows your monthly benefit amount. Get your benefit verification letter at www.socialsecurity.gov/ myaccount. It is often used as official proof to:

--Apply for a loan.

--Give to a landlord.

--Obtain housing assistance or other state or local benefits.

--Verify Medicare coverage.

--Verify retirement status, disability, or age.

2. An SSA-1099 shows your annual income for income tax purposes. We mail the SSA-1099 by January 31 each year. You can request an SSA-1099 online, or you can call us at 1-800-722-1213 between 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday, or visit a local office. Visit www.socialsecurity.gov to locate the office nearest you.

3. An annual cost-of-living adjustment (COLA)

Question: What is the earliest age I can begin receiving retirement benefits?

Answer: The earliest age you can begin receiving Social Security retirement benefits is 62. If you decide to receive benefits before full retirement age, you will receive a reduced benefit.

Keep in mind that you will not be able to receive Medicare coverage until age 65, even if you decide to retire at an earlier age.

Check out our retirement estimator to get fast, personalized estimates of future benefits. You can find them at www.socialsecurity.gov/estimator.

For more information, go to www.social security.gov.

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