For people living in the United States of America, having Social Security is important as it ensures a comfortable retirement period. It allows maximizing the source of income so that individuals have something to fall back on and meet their necessities when the time of retirement comes.

Let’s move on to what the program includes before we talk about its benefits.

What is Social Security?

Social Security refers to a program that the government runs and facilitates using taxes from ordinary people. They rely on the money to fund different benefits for individuals who meet the criteria. It is a source of income after retirement and for the disabled. The program also offers support to dependents after your death. Your dependents are your spouse, parents, or children.

How does it work?

In addition to regular taxes, you can opt to pay Social Security taxes, which go into a trust fund. This trust fund proves useful for:

  • People who have retired
  • Those with disabilities
  • Spouses or children of the deceased

There are four types of benefits

  1. Retirement benefits
  2. Disability benefits
  3. Benefits for spouses or other family members
  4. Supplemental Security Income

Retirement Benefits:

If you opt to pay for Social Security taxes, you earn credits upon payment. When you gather enough credits, you become eligible for benefits. The number of credits depends on the date of your birth; any individual born after 1929 must earn at least 40 credits. This is around ten years of work. At age 62, you can start to receive benefits, but these may be a reduced number of benefits until you are 67. When you are 67, you are eligible for all the benefits.

Disability Benefits:

You will receive benefits as long as you are “insured,” which means that you worked long enough and paid Social Security taxes on what you earned. If your medical conditions last longer than a year or result in death, you can be eligible for disability benefits. You will have to provide certain documents such as a Birth certificate, proof of U.S. citizenship, and medical evidence of your disability.

Benefits for family members:

If you pay Social Security tax, upon your death, your dependents may receive benefits. Usually, the funeral home receives the deceased’s Social Security number so that they can report to the relevant authorities. There are benefits for widows, children, and parents.

Supplemental Security income:

If you are above the age of 65, blind or disabled, as well as have limited income or resources, you are eligible for SSI. Being a U.S citizen is mandatory for eligibility. The SSI can pay up to $2000 for an individual and up to $3000 for a couple.


Social security is not just a retirement program; it can be a lifesaver for families if a member passes away or faces disability, which can reduce their incomes. To learn more and get access to the free benefits guide, go to