[Noozhawk’s note: One in a series of Social Security-related columns by AmeriFlex representatives. Click here for a related article.]

Q. When an individual elects to receive Social Security benefits prior to full retirement age and continues to work, the Social Security Administration withholds $1 of benefits for every $2 earned above $14,640. We have been asked how the SSA knows when you have gone over the $14,640 threshold and will subsequently begin withholding from benefit checks.

A. It is the responsibility of each individual who is working and receiving Social Security benefits prior to full retirement age to contact the Social Security Administration and inform it when the $14,640 earning threshold has been reached. If you do not inform the SSA, you will continue to receive your Social Security benefit check without any benefits withheld and the SSA will consider you to be “overpaid.”

Once it has been determined by the SSA that you have been “overpaid,” the SSA will withhold the amount “overpaid” until it is paid back. This could result in receiving zero benefits for a time unless you make arrangements with the SSA to have a specific amount deducted from each check until the overpayment amount has been repaid.

Q. Is the SSA website set up for online services?

A. Yes. In recent years, the SSA has updated its website to be able to accommodate many services online. In addition to estimating future benefits, obtaining your statement and applying for benefits, if you register you can take care of administrative issues such as change of address and establishing direct deposits.

Readers: Email your Social Security questions to bibi.taylor@ameriflex.com.

— Justin Anderson, CFP, CRC, CLU, is a financial planner and Bibi Taylor, MBA, is the Social Security project coordinator at AmeriFlex, 3700 State St., Suite 310, in Santa Barbara. Call 805.898.0893 for more information. Financial advisors and registered representatives associated with AmeriFlex Financial Services offer securities and advisory services through SagePoint Financial Inc., member FINRA/SIPC. Insurance services offered through AmeriFlex Financial Services, which is not affiliated with SagePoint Financial Inc. or registered as a broker-dealer or investment advisor. Registered representatives may only discuss and/or transact securities business with residents of the following states: AR, AZ, CA, CO, FL, GA, IL, IN, MI, MO, NC, ND, NJ, NM, NV, NY, OH, OR, PA, PR, SC, TX, VA, WA, WI.