Social security is known as a check that people get once a month after they retire. The money is from the amount in taxes they paid into social security throughout their working life.
The Social Security Administration collects that money that you pay throughout your life to give out to those currently collecting it while you’re working.
There are various benefits that help the retiree and their family members with social security
Retirement benefits are the benefits the retiree collects every month.
They can start being collected as early as 62 and as late as 70. By retiring before the full retirement age which is 66 or 67 depending on month of birth, you forfeit up to 30% of your benefits. By waiting until past 66-67 you will gain up to 8% more per year up until the age of 70.
You receive retirement benefits until you die.
Related: Social Security: Applying for lump sum death benefits worth $255
Spouses are entitled to benefits as well. If a spouse did not work or work enough for their own social security, they can collect these benefits.
The spouse can get up to half of the benefits their spouse was getting before they died.
To qualify, the spouse must be over 62, or any age while caring for a child that’s entitled to benefits that’s under 16 or disabled.
By choosing to receive benefits before your full retirement age, you’ll have them permanently reduced.
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There are also benefits for children.
Children over 18 with a disability can get benefits when their parent retires. They may also choose disability benefits instead.
The disability must have existed before age 22 to collect these benefits.
Benefits for a dependent child begin with the retiree’s start and end when the child turns 18.
Related: Social Security: What age do recipients no longer pay taxes on benefits?
The child can also collect benefits if their parent dies.
Survivor benefits go to members of your family. A widow can get benefits if they are over 60. They can begin receiving benefits if they’re over 50.
There is also a $255 one time lump sum that recipients surviving family can apply for.
Social security disability insurance will also pay benefits for a retiree and their family if they worked long and recent enough.
To collect you must have paid social security taxes before becoming disabled.
The disability benefit is for life or until SSA decides you no longer qualify.
Related: COLA: Social Security disability payments in 2022
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