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In this article, we will delve into the ins and outs of Social Security benefits for a single person, eligibility, how much you might receive and how to maximize your Social Security benefits and much more.   


Following are some of the requirements to for a single person to claim Social Security benefits:

  • You must have worked and paid into Social Security System at least 10 years of work (40 credits) to qualify for Social Security retirement benefits.
  • Must be at least 62 years old.
  • Must be a U.S. citizen, green card holder or a lawful resident with a valid Social Security number.
  • For a disabled person, he/she must have a qualifying disability or condition that prevents them from working.

It is important to note that there is some different between eligibility for a single person and a married person. Married persons may be eligible for spousal benefits, but the single person is not eligible for the same.  

How much money will you receive?

As of January 2024 the maximum Social Security benefit for a single person is $4,873 per month, however, the actual amount you receive will depend on different factors, such as your work history, earning history, age and any other sources of income.  

Benefits of Social Security for a single person

If you have a higher earning history, you will receive a higher benefit than a married person. As a single person, you also have the advantage of receiving full Social Security benefit without any reduction for a spousal benefit.

Moreover, single person can also take advantage of the ‘reset’ option, which allows you to withdraw your application for benefits and re-apply at a later date for a higher amount. It is important to note that being single you have more control and flexibility when it comes to Social Security benefits.   

How to maximize your Social Security benefits?

There are different options to maximize your Social Security benefits, such as waiting until Full Retirement Age (FRA), working for at least 35 years, delaying your benefits till 70 years old if you can and claiming spousal benefits first and then your own.

In order to maximize your Social Security benefits along with above options, you also need to consider your overall financial situation and tax implications when deciding when to claim your Social Security benefits. However, maximizing Social Security benefits requires personalized planning based on individual circumstances.   

What is the best time to claim your Social Security benefits?

Well, the best time to claim your Social Security benefits solely depends on your personal circumstances, such as financial needs, health and your daily expenses. It is important to add here that some people prefer to claim benefits at early possible retirement age i.e. 62 years of age, while other delay claim the same until age 62 to receive maximum benefits.

According to some Social Security experts, if your likely pension is below than what you need to meet your expenses, such as monthly rent, utility bills and groceries etc., then you should not claim your Social Security benefits at 62 and wait until 70 years of age or at least 67 to get larger benefits.

For example, if your likely monthly pension is around $2,000 but your expenses are $2500, then it is not a wise move to claim your Social Security benefits at age 62, as it will badly hurt your financial capability to meet your expenses. Your decision to claim your Social Security benefits at age 62 is likely to be a move you will regret, as it may not be enough to meet your expenses.

Benefits of waiting longer to claim Social Security

The first thing you need to understand is the longer you wait to claim social security, the higher the amount will be. At your full retirement age, you are entitled to receive 100% of your Social Security benefits. It is pertinent to mention here that the current full retirement age is 67 years for people attaining age 62 in 2024.

However, if you wait till 68 years of age, you will get an 8% bonus, while until waiting until 70 years of age you will receive the maximize benefit i.e. 124%. So, as I mentioned above that in order to receive 100% Social Security benefits, you need to wait until full retirement age i.e. 67, while for maximum benefit you need to be at least 70 years old.    

Additionally, waiting beyond your full retirement age can be beneficial for you, as you likely receive a cost-of-living adjustment each year, based on inflation, which will accumulate and result in higher overall savings.


The Social Security benefits are a vital resource for single individuals, providing a safety net for retirement, disability, or unexpected life events. By understanding the eligibility requirements, benefit amounts, and strategies for maximizing benefits, you can take control of your financial future. Remember, Social Security is just one part of a comprehensive financial plan and by combining it with other sources of income and savings, you can build a secure and fulfilling life. However, as I discussed above that the best time to claim your Social Security benefits entirely depends on your personal circumstance. Before making any decision in said regard, you should always keep in mind all pros and cons of early or late retirement.

If you have any further questions or need more clarification on anything related to Social Security, feel free to ask. You can leave your question or query in the comment section and I will respond as soon as I can.

Thanks for reading


Q. Who is eligible for Social Security benefits in the U.S.?

A. U.S. citizens, permanent residents and qualifying non-citizens, who have worked and paid into Social Security System are eligible to receive Social Security benefits.

Q. Can a single person receive Social Security benefits if they have other income sources of income?

A.  Yes, but other income sources may affect the taxability of Social Security benefits.

Q. Can a single person receive Social Security benefits if they have a disability?

A. Yes, a single person with qualifying disabilities may be eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits.  

Q. How does marriage affect Social Security benefits for singles?

A. If single gets married, his/her Social Security benefits may be affected depending on their spouse’s income and benefit amount.

Q. What types of Social Security benefits are available to singles?

A. A single person may be eligible for different Social Security benefits including retirement benefits, disability benefits and survivor benefits. Additionally, they may also claim spousal benefits based on a former spouse’s earnings record.

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