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Protect your loved ones from elder abuse

Are you concerned about protecting your elderly relatives and friends from elder abuse? The pandemic has highlighted the tragedy’s disproportionate impact on underserved communities, including seniors who face high rates of elder abuse, fraud and deaths in nursing homes.

It’s important to remember that elder abuse can happen to anyone, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, or financial situation. We are committed to helping and preventing further victimization, especially in underserved communities.


A recent report by the Federal Bureau of Investigation found that elder fraud has increased. Seniors in the United States reported losses of more than $1.6 billion in 2021. This includes victims of COVID-related fraud. Seniors in the U.S. also lose nearly 25 times more money to scammers than other groups—roughly $113.7 billion a year!

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Fraud can be difficult to report, and older people tend not to report it, especially if money is lost. Many older Americans are unsure about the reporting process or feel too embarrassed to report. Understaffing in Adult Protective Services offices can also cause long processing times and underreporting.

We work hard to protect beneficiaries from welfare and government imposters. You can learn more about protecting your loved ones at blog.ssa.gov/slam-the-scam-how-to-spot-government-imposters and our Protect Yourself Against Social Security Fraud webpage at www.ssa.gov/scam.

Please share these important resources with your family and friends.


Q: I know that the full Social Security retirement age is gradually increasing to 67. But does this mean that the “early” retirement age will also increase by two years, from 62 to 64?

A: No. Although the full retirement age is gradually rising from 65 to 67 under current law, the “early” retirement age remains at 62. However, keep in mind that early retirement reduces the amount of your benefit. For more information about Social Security benefits, visit www.ssa.gov/planners/retire.

Q: I worked for the first half of the year but plan to retire this month. Will Social Security count the amount I earned this year when I retire?

A: yes. If you retire in the middle of the year, we count your full year’s earnings. We have a special “earnings test” rule that we apply to annual earnings, usually in the first year of retirement. Under this rule, you get paid in full for the entire month we consider you retired, regardless of your annual earnings. We consider you retired during any month when your earnings are below the monthly limit, or when you have not provided substantial self-employment services. We do not take into account income received from the month you reached full retirement age. Learn more about the income verification rule at www.ssa.gov/retire2/rule.htm.

If a hacker gets hold of your Social Security number, they can do a lot of fraud. Veuer’s Elizabeth Keating has more.


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