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Contact the Social Security Administration in order to determine your eligibility for both Social Security and/or Medicare benefits. Call toll free, 1-800-772-1213, or locate an office near you at the Social Security Office Locator webpage.
You must establish contact with the Social Security Administration prior to reaching 65 in order to ascertain whether or not you will be eligible for Medicare. Also, if you have earned 40 quarters under Social Security you will need to inquire as to your eligibility for benefits. Depending on a number of factors, i.e., date eligible for retirement, amount of contributions, whether you will be seeking benefits at age 62 or 65, there may be an "offset" of Social Security benefits depending also on the amount of your MainePERS monthly benefits.
Teachers Who Have Earned 40 or More Social Security Quarters
Teachers who have earned 40 or more Social Security quarters are eligible for Social Security benefits. However, the amount depends on when you were eligible for retirement under the Maine State Retirement System (now MainePERS).
Any teacher who was eligible to retire prior to January 1, 1986, and who had 40 earned quarters under Social Security is eligible for benefits without an offset. Teachers eligible from January 1, 1986, on are subject to an offset (a reduction in benefits based on a formula utilizing years of substantial earnings). As each individual case is unique, you must contact Social Security to determine your eligibility. Benefits must be applied for, they are not automatic.
If you were eligible to retire prior to January 1, 1986, you should contact the Maine Public Employees Retirement System to secure a letter of 1st eligibility. Social Security will need this verification letter to determine your benefits.
Verification of retirement depends on two factors:
1.) Date you completed 25 years of service* OR
2.) When you attained age 60*.
* Either of these criteria must have occurred prior to January 1, 1986, for Social Security benefits that are not subject to an "offset".
Contact your Social Security office to check your eligibility. They will be able to advise you as to which benefits you are eligible to receive. Also, check with MainePers for additional information.