What is Social Security and Do I Qualify?

What is Social Security and Do I Qualify?

What is social security
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Governmental programs can sometimes be confusing. Don’t worry, though. You’re not the only one who’s thinking, “ What is Social Security? ” Let us break down the basics of social security for you.

What is Social Security?

Social Security is a federal income and health insurance program that aids retirees, the disabled, the impoverished, and others. Social Security works in that you pay taxes for people currently receiving Social Security benefits, and other people will pay taxes that contribute to your future benefits. In other words, Social Security is a pay-as-you-go program.

Who Gets Benefits from Social Security?

Social Security helps retirees, the disabled, the impoverished and others. But it’s more complex than that. For example, if you are divorced, or if a family member receiving benefits has died, you may be eligible for Social Security. Here are the main categories of Social Security.

1.   Retirement

The Social Security Administration provides retirement benefits based on two factors: 1) the age at which the person retires, and 2) lifetime earnings.

Generally, the full retirement age is around age 67. It is possible to retire earlier or later, though the benefit will increase or decrease accordingly. Taking an early retirement permanently reduces the amount you’ll receive, and retiring late (up to age 70) permanently increases the amount you’ll receive.

Also, lifetime earnings affect how much you’ll receive. Higher lifetime earnings yield more benefits, and lower lifetime earnings yield fewer benefits. In addition, before you qualify for retirement benefits, you must have worked for 10 full years.

2.   Disability

If you cannot work because of a physical or mental disability that you expect to last for more than one year or result in your death, you may qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance. You must keep in mind, however, that your disability is supposed to prevent you from working. If you are able to work, or if your medical condition ever improves, you may lose your benefits.

3.   Survivors

Social Security gives benefits to children, widows and widowers of someone who had Social Security and passed away. Survivors receive anywhere from 75% – 100% of the deceased’s Social Security benefits, and the total amount for the whole family cannot exceed 180% of the deceased’s benefits, generally speaking.

4.   Medicare

Medicare is the federal health insurance program that covers people who are 65 or older, certain young people with disabilities, and people with permanent kidney failure (End-Stage Renal Disease). Do not confuse Medicare with Medicaid.

5.   Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

SSI aids individuals who make little income that are disabled, blind, or age 65 or older. It is possible to be eligible for SSI along with other Social Security benefits. Learn more about SSI here.

Have More Questions about Social Security?

We know that Social Security can be confusing to deal with, so contact Social Security Disability Advocates USA for help. We can be reached 24/7 at (602) 952-3200. Consultations are free, so don’t hesitate to contact us.

 

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