Considering the importance of an income source, the social security law focuses on providing it to the ones who aren’t able to earn any more. The law’s motive has been to protect people from unanticipated catastrophes. To do so, the government spreads specific risks among the society to ensure that no family bears the full burden. Furthermore, it offers disability, survivors, and old-age insurance benefits to all workers. It also supports legally dependent people, including parents, children, and spouses, who are also eligible for benefits after the worker’s demise.

The social security law is beneficial for people after their full retirement age unless they are with a disability. But certain clauses exist regarding the age at which one becomes eligible for complete retirement benefits. Similar to this information, there’s more that you might not be aware of. Therefore, this article will help you learn more regarding its working and how one can avail benefits from the law. 

1. Trust Funds and Taxes

The taxes that you pay are used for paying social security benefits. This means that currently, the taxes that the workers are paying are being paid as benefits to the ones who need it. The majority of the taxes go to a trust fund, which pays the retirees and families their benefits. The remaining portion of the fund goes to a trust fund, which is responsible for paying benefits to people with disabilities and others who might need it. 

2. Spousal Benefit

The workers’ spouses are eligible to claim benefits even if they ever had a paid job. To qualify for the same, the spouse who works continues to receive the benefits and the one who isn’t working must be of a certain specified age. According to the law, if the non-working spouse begins to gather benefits before reaching the complete age of retirement, the spousal benefits are decreased. This is the reason why even the lawyers at suggest waiting to reach the retirement age before claiming such benefits. Widowed spouses are eligible for receiving the entire benefit of their partners. However, if they used to work and are eligible for a larger benefit, they do not get the benefits of their partner. Commonly, the age of the widowed partner must be at least 60 years for receiving benefits.

3. Benefits for Disabled People

People with disabilities have the right to get benefits based on the social security law. These people are helped by Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income. However, it’s crucial to have a disability based on SSA’s definition to achieve benefits:

  1. Your impairment is enlisted on Social Security’s list of medical conditions that are considered disabling.
  2. Either the disability is going to persist for at least a year or it’s going to result in demise.
  3. You aren’t capable of working or performing any substantial activity.

Social Security Disability Insurance or SSDI is for individuals who become disabled after earning sufficient work credits of Social Security within a certain period. Further, their former or current spouse along with their children are likely to be eligible for benefits when they begin to obtain SSDI. One can apply for benefits of SSDI in person, by phone, or online. If the application is accepted, the benefits begin after a 5 month waiting period.

Different from SSDI, SSI or Supplemental Security Income is for individuals who are of age over 65 years and are disabled. It applies to the people who do not possess any resources or income. Nonetheless, social security does not fund it, which is a common misunderstanding.

4. Higher Benefits at Old Age

If you decide to avail of these benefits earlier than your retirement age, you will get reduced benefits. This would mean a reduction in the monthly benefits for as long as you and your family receive them. On the other hand, if you decide to opt for the benefits later, which is past your age of retirement, you will be eligible for higher benefits. Majorly, the eligibility is based on the credits that a person earns when they are working.

Social security law can prove to be beneficial for the ones in need of an income source due to retirement or disability. The workers are required to pay taxes initially so that later, they can receive benefits based on their earnings. The law also allows the legal dependents of the working member to obtain these benefits. If you are willing to avail of the benefits, you must consider the criteria for eligibility stated by the government and apply. 

Read Also: Do I Need a Social Security Disability Lawyer for an Appeal?