What is Social Security?
In 1935, President Franklin Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act. This new federal legislature started the collecting of taxes in 1937. Since then, working citizens across the United States began paying into social security in order to have a form of guaranteed income once they reached retirement age. The Social Security Act was initially meant to be a form of basic retirement for working individuals. However, in 1939, an amendment was made to the act that allowed spouses and/or children to begin receiving social security survivor benefits if a parent or spouse was deceased and qualified for social security income.
Extensive Purposes of the Social Security Act
In addition to providing retiree-aged individuals with a guaranteed income based on their years paying into social security while they were working, the income generated from social security revenue also was created to provide aid to American children in poverty situations. The Aid to Dependent Children was a primary receiver of benefits from the Social Security income. Additional federal programs which included low income health care and welfare assistance also benefited from the Social Security Act.
The Social Security Administration
The federal office that controls social security through supervision of collections and distributions is the Social Security Administration. This office is helpful in providing information on benefits, immigration status and concerns, financial planners, wounded veterans and services for homeless people in the United States. The office also works closely with other government agencies such as the Administration on Aging, Bureau of Census and the Department of Health and Human Services.
Social Security Eligibility
The following people are eligible to receive social security benefits:
- A person 62 years of age or older who has met the social security requirement working credits. This occurs by remaining employed for a steady and reasonable amount of time to pay into the social security fund.
- A spouse under the age of 62 who has a dependent disabled child living with him or her.
- High school students from the ages of 18 to 19 as long as they are enrolled full time in high school and have an unmarried status.
- Any person with a disability that was legally verified before the person reached 22 years of age.
- Divorced person who is unmarried and who is over 62 years of age may qualify for social security benefits from a previous spouse if they were married for more than a decade.
Get Social Security Help
Applying for a social security card may be done through a person’s local Social Security office. Most cities have a local office to assist people in filing an application to get a social security replacement card. This office is also helpful in filing applications for disability benefits under the social security act, retirement benefits and deceased spousal benefits.
Applications are available online through the Social Security Administration where a person may apply for social security financial benefits. This link (http://ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10523.pdf) provides an easy method for a person to fill out an online application for social security income. After answering simple questions that include date of birth, gender and social security number, an applicant can be on his way to starting the process to receive benefits. Be sure to have these mentioned documents available in the case that faxed or photocopied files of them are requested.