Navigating the System: Your Ultimate Social Security Guide

Social Security is a Federal Program delivering retirement benefits for senior citizens, survivors, and disabled individuals. The SSA (Social Security Administration) controls the retirement benefits in the USA, and millions of citizens benefit from it. When an individual explores the social security guide, it has a reputation for retirement benefits. It also offers survivor benefits and income for employees/workers disabled at job sites. The amount of Social Security benefits varies from person to person. The amount is determined based on the AIME (Average Indexed Monthly Earnings) during the highest earning period.

Working Principle of Social Security

Two Social Security Trust Funds

It is an insurance program where employees/workers pay via payroll withholding with the organization. Self-employed professionals pay their Social Security taxes when they file Federal tax returns. The money acquired goes into two Social Security trust funds,

  1.     OASI (Old Age and Survivors Insurance) Trust Fund
  2.     DI (Disability Insurance) Trust Fund

The trust funds pay Social Security benefits to eligible individuals, and the rest of the money remains in the trust. A board of trustees looks after the financial functioning of both Social Security trust funds. Out of the six trustee members, four of them belong to Federal departments, including

  1.     Health and Human Services
  2.     Labor Services
  3.     Commissioner of Social Security
  4.     Department of Treasury

The remaining two members belong to the public representatives confirmed by the Senate and approved by the US President.

Third Social Security Trust Fund

According to the social security guide, CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) is the third Social Security Trust Fund that offers disability benefits to senior citizens and survivors. Medicare is a Federal health insurance program for citizens who are 65 years and above. They are eligible to receive the benefits based on their disabilities. Depending on the earning records of the candidates, their spouses and ex-spouses are eligible for Social Security benefits.

Who is Eligible for Retirement Benefits?

 Employees/workers who have consistently paid into Social Security for at least ten years qualify for the early retirement benefits at 62 years. Delaying the retirement benefits until FRA (Full Retirement Age), ranging from 65 to 67 years, results in more monthly benefits. If an eligible individual waits till he attains 70 years, the monthly Social Security retirement benefits are higher. The highlight of the Social Security retirement program is that spouses are eligible for the benefits as well.

  •       A single ex-spouse receives benefits if the marriage is for a minimum of 10 years.
  •       Biological children of retirees receive the benefits until they are 18 years old. The benefits extend if they are students or disabled.
  •       Adopted or step-children receive the benefits till they are 16 years old.

How Much is One Entitled to the Retirement Benefits?

The social security guide reveals that retirement benefits depend on the AIME during the thirty-five highest earning years of the eligible candidate. It indicates that the retirement benefit amount differs from one retiree to the other. Candidates seeking the benefit from 65 to 67 years enjoy an 8% increase in the retirement benefit amount. The annual Social Security retirement benefit amount increases further if one delays till 70 years. The Social Security retirement amount varies based on the age of candidates when they start seeking the benefits. Based on the inflation rate, the Social Security program includes adjustments for cost of living expenses. There is a benefit for low earners who pay for the insurance program for at least 11 years and qualify for the monthly Social Security benefit.


The primary motive of Social Security benefits is to safeguard and protect households and individuals. The Federal insurance program ensures eligible candidates access to general health care and income security. It is applicable during situations like sickness, accidents, unemployment, old age, loss of household breadwinner’s job, work injury, maternity, and disability. The social security guide reveals benefits and perks for retirees, survivors, and disabled individuals qualified for the Federal program. Furthermore, the benefit amount differs from one individual to the other based on their AIME for thirty-five highest-earning years. Millions of Americans depend on different Social Security benefits post-retirement and lead a financially independent life with access to health care and income security.

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