What You Should Know About Social Security

As a working American, you will typically find a certain amount of money taken out of each paycheck designated as Social Security on your pay stub. 6.2% of your income will be contributed to the Social Security system and employers match this percentage for each worker, totaling 12.4%. Social Security provides you with benefits when you retire, become disabled, or to eligible family members with benefits when you die.

The Social Security system was developed in 1935, during the Great Depression. The main idea of the program was to establish a “social insurance” program to help people avoid falling into such a state of poverty, especially the elderly.

Social security developed into what it is today after undergoing amendments in the 1950s. The following points are some important facts about the way Social Security works that every American employee should know.

  • You can begin collecting all of your earned Social Security when you reach retirement age. This age varies, though. For those born prior to 1937, the age is 65. For anyone born after 1960, the retirement age is 67. For anyone in between, it varies by a few months between ages 65 and 67. If you choose to retire before the appropriate retirement age and begin collecting Social Security, you will not receive the total amount of your earned payments.
  • Social Security is for more than just retirement. You can begin collecting Social Security payments if you become disabled and cannot work even if you have not met the retirement age. In addition, if the benefiter of social security dies, his or her family can receive these payments. A spouse, including a divorced spouse, can receive Social Security payments even if he or she has never worked under Social Security.
  • Much of the Social Security system has become electronic. You can receive Social Security checks electronically rather than by mail. They will be directly deposited or put onto a debit card for you. You can also use the Social Security Administration’s website to calculate your payments and plan for your future using many different scenarios.

It is important to understand all of the rights and benefits provided to you by the Social Security system. The attorneys of Sullivan & Kehoe, LLP concentrate their practice in social security law and are experienced in assisting people receive the payments they are entitled to. Call our office at (800) 395-7830 to schedule a consultation in one of our New York City or Long Island offices.

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