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Social Security Benefits

What Are Social Security Benefits?

Social Security Benefits were created to help Americans financially when they retire, become disabled, or if a spouse or parent dies. Although these benefits are not meant to be the sole income for a person when they retire, it should replace about forty percent of a person’s income. People who work and pay into the Social Security system will be able to claim benefits.

What is the Purpose of Social Security Benefits?

Social Security Benefits will help provide financial support when a person reaches retirement age. In addition, if a person becomes disabled and is no longer able to work, the benefits will pay a percentage of the retirement income. If the disabled person has children under the age of 18, they will also receive benefits. When a spouse or parent dies and there are surviving children under the age of eighteen, these children and the surviving spouse who takes care of the children, will be eligible for Social Security Benefits.

What Organization Controls Social Security Benefits?

To apply for Social Security Benefits, a person will need to complete appropriate paperwork with the Social Security Administration. Some of this can be completed online, although the application process will also require a visit to the Social Security Office. Applicants will need to locate their local SSA office and make an appointment.

Who is Eligible For Social Security Benefits?

Most American’s will be eligible for Social Security Benefits. Those people who have worked and paid Social Security taxes will be able to make a claim when they retire. Even those who have not paid into the Social Security system may be able to file a claim under specific circumstances. If a spouse did not work and pay into the system him or herself, a claim can be made under the spouse that did work and pay into the system. A disabled child may be eligible based on the Social Security Benefits of the parent. A minor child whose parent died may also be eligible for benefits.

How Do I Apply For Social Security Benefits?

To apply for Social Security Benefits the person will need to gather personal information including an original birth certificate, social security card, government picture identification and usually proof of address and citizenship. The person will then need to visit the Social Security Office and talk with a counselor. The professionals who work with the Social Security Administration will be able to explain all of the available options based on the circumstances. If a spouse is applying for benefits because of a death, a certified death certificate will also be needed. If minor children are involved, birth certificates and social security numbers will also be needed.

Additional Social Security Disability Information

To obtain additional information visit one of these Social Security benefit resources:
Social Security Administration
Retirement Estimator
Benefits Online Application
Benefits Planner
Survivors Benefits