Since its introduction in 1935, the Social Security Administration has provided services that are essential to our well-being as a country and society. Over many decades the funds available through this governmental branch have allowed people to retire in their senior years and have provided funds that are essential to those who become disabled due to accident, illness or injury.
While most people know that Social Security is there, many are uninformed about the full range of benefits available through this important social insurance program. Learn about the available benefits you can collect from Social Security, and why it can be important to get advice and help from a Social Security lawyer.
Social Security Insurance
Social Security is an insurance program administered by the federal government, which exists to provide financial help to people in times of need. It is most commonly thought of as a retirement benefit you can collect when you reach your 60s, but there are other forms of benefit available as well, including disability insurance, survivor’s benefits, and dependents’ benefits.
The most commonly cited and received benefits of Social Security is that you receive upon retirement. Provided that you’ve worked a non-government job for at least ten years when you reach the age of 62, you can collect retirement benefits from the SSA. However, if you wait until “full” retirement age, which depending on your birth year is between 65 years old and 67 years old, you will get higher benefits. If you wait until the age of 70, your benefits will increase even further.
Disability insurance, also called SSDI or Social Security Disability Insurance, is available to those who are injured to the point where they are unable to work. The Social Security program maintains guidelines for what constitutes this kind of medical disability, and if the disability is permanent, you can sometimes receive benefits up to what your full retirement might be.
If you lose a spouse and that person was eligible or could qualify for Social Security, you may be entitled to receive benefits which are based on their earnings records. In addition, if you have disabled or minor children, they, too, can receive benefits.
If your spouse retires or becomes disabled, and they are qualified to receive Social Security income, you may also be entitled to get benefits based on their earning records. Though these benefits are called dependents’ benefits, you don’t actually need to be dependent upon your spouse for financial support in order to qualify. Likewise, if you have disabled children or minor children, they may also be eligible for benefits.