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Social Security

Social Security is a mandated supplemental retirement system in the US that was established in 1935. The intent of the Social Security program is to ensure a threshold subsistence level below which any worker who had paid into the program cannot fall.

Social Security is a program not based upon the needs of the participants but rather how much and how long the participants pay into the system. Eligibility for benefits upon retirement includes a few factors:

1. Age – individuals must be 62 years old or older to receive retirement benefits
2. Length of employment – individuals must have worked for at least 40 quarters (over the life of their work experience) and paid into Social Security through payroll deductions (or on their own if self-employed)
3. Citizenship – There is no requirement to be a US citizen
4. Disability – Disability benefits eligibility is based upon a determination by the Social Security system along with the above listed qualifications (except for disability applicants under the age of 18).

Social Security is funded through specific payroll taxes deducted from the employees’ paycheck. The Employer matches the amount paid by the employee. If you look at your pay-stub, you will find under deductions something called “FICA” (Federal Insurance Contributions Act) that is actually a combined payroll tax amount for both Social Security and Medicare.


Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

The SSI program makes monthly payments to people with low income who are age 65 or older or are blind or have a disability. Continue reading
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To be eligible for Social Security retirement benefits, you must work in a Social Security covered job (i.e. paid Social Security taxes) for at least 10 years. Continue reading

Social Security Benefits

Your Social Security benefit payment is based on how much you earned during your working career. Higher lifetime earnings result in higher benefits. Continue reading

Social Security Questions

Frequently asked questions about Social Security eligibility and benefits. Continue reading
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Social Security Resources

Additional resources for Social Security. Continue reading