Friday, March 30, 2018

Understanding Social Security: 4 Facts Everyone Should Know

Social Security was a program implemented by the U.S. Congress in 1935 to provide a steady income for older individuals and others. It has provided for millions of American since its inception and is one of the most revered programs provided by the nation’s government. 

However, Social Security has complex rules and restrictions that can be confusing. Here are some of the most basic points of the Social Security system that you should keep in mind.

Not All Employment Contributes to Social Security

If you earn wages from a company, your employer will deposit money into your Social Security account held by the government. If you are self-employed, you will have make the deposits to the government yourself. 

Unless portion of your earnings are deposited to your Social Security account, the wages will not be calculated toward your benefits.

Disability Can Qualify You to Receive Benefits

Social Security is not just a retirement program. It provides income for individuals who are unable to work because of illness or other disability. The rules regarding these cases are complex, and application for benefits can take some time complete. 

You may require an attorney experienced in social security disability benefits to help you navigate the application process.

Applying before Full Retirement Age Reduces Your Benefit

You can begin to receive Social Security benefits as early as age 62, but the amount will be less than if you had waited until full retirement age. Full retirement age is currently 66 years of age for those born between 1943 and 1954. 

If you apply at age 62, your benefit will be reduced by 25 percent. At age 63, your benefit is reduced by 20 percent. At age 64, benefits are reduced by 13.3 percent. And at age 64, benefits are reduced by 6.7 percent.

Years to Qualify for Divorced Spousal Benefits

Individuals who are at least 62 years old may receive benefits under the account of a working spouse if the working spouse has applied for their own Social Security benefits. 

However, if you are the divorced partner of a working spouse, you may receive benefits even before your spouse files for benefits, if he or she is at least 62 years of age. You must have been married to the working spouse for at least 10 years.

Social Security can be a puzzling system, with many requirements for different circumstances. The complex rules have evolved over time to cover a variety of situations that arise in modern society. 

You can find a wealth of information about Social Security benefits on the Internet, along with phone numbers that will connect you to individuals that can answer your questions. 

These resources can provide the information you need to determine whether you are eligible for benefits and the best ways to utilize these benefits for your particular needs.

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