09/26/2014 - United States Social Security Administration

Social Security touches every American, of all ages, incomes, races, and nationalities. It is an invaluable resource, and, is by far, the most successful domestic program in the history of the United States.  Social Security provides benefits to eligible workers and their families when the worker retires, becomes disabled, or dies.  

  • Social Security is currently paying benefits to over 58 million people.
  • About 2-in-11 Americans receive a Social Security benefit today.
  • Social Security covers an estimated 165 million workers and their families.

The Social Security program provides a complete package of protection often not found in the private sector. More than 3-in-10 Social Security beneficiaries are not retirees or their dependents.

  • Social Security provides benefits to young workers and their families if the workers become disabled.

About 90 percent of people age 21-64 can count on monthly cash benefits if they suffer a severe and prolonged disability.
Nearly 9 million disabled workers and over 1.9 million of their dependents currently receive Social Security benefits.

  • Social Security provides benefits to the survivors of deceased workers, including their children.

About 96 percent of people age 20-49 have survivor protection for their eligible children and spouses.
Over 6 million dependents of deceased workers, including nearly 2 million children, currently receive Social Security benefits.

  • Social Security also provides income for workers who have entered the second phase of their lives—retirement.

Retirement, Survivors, and Disability Benefits

  • Social Security is insurance that pays retirement, disability, and survivors benefits to eligible workers and their families. Workers have taxes taken out of their paychecks to earn Social Security insurance credits. Employers also pay part of this cost.

Supplemental Security Income Payments

  • Supplemental Security Income pays benefits to blind or disabled adults and children who have limited income and resources. It also assists eligible people age 65 or older who do not have disabilities. This is a separate program from Social Security.

Social Security delivers a broad range of services online at www.socialsecurity.gov and through a nationwide network of over 1,400 offices, including regional offices, field offices, Social Security card centers, teleservice centers, processing centers, hearing offices, the Appeals Council, and State disability determination services.  Social Security also have a presence in the U.S. embassies around the globe.

Available online at www.socialsecurity.gov:
Social Security: Kids and Families
Here you will find what every kid and parent should know about Social Security.  This site provides materials for children and parents to learn about Social Security and why it is important to them.  

Social Security is Important to Young People and Young Workers
Social Security is important to young people, even before they start working.  When a parent becomes disabled or dies, Social Security benefits help provide the necessities of life for family members.  Social Security also provides benefits to young workers and their families if the worker becomes disabled and has earned enough Social Security credits.

Get Your Social Security Statement Online
The online Social Security Statement is an easy-to-read record of the earnings on which you have paid Social Security taxes. It provides a summary of the benefits you and your family might receive, including potential retirement, disability, and survivors benefits. The Statement is an important financial planning tool for people age 18 and over. This online Statement is available once you register for a my Social Security account at www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount.

Disability Planner: Social Security Protection if You Become Disabled
Disability is a subject you may read about in the newspaper, but not think of as something that might actually happen to you. However, studies show that just over 1-in-4 of today's 20-year-olds will become disabled before reaching age 67. Even very young workers may have already earned disability protection.

Estimate Your Retirement Benefits
Generally, you need 40 Social Security credits (10 years of work) to qualify for a retirement benefit.  Deciding when to retire is one of the most difficult decisions many people face.  The Retirement Estimator provides immediate and personalized benefit estimates based on your earnings record.  And, best of all, the Retirement Estimator is an interactive tool that allows you to compare different retirement options.

Calculate Your Life Expectancy
When you are considering when to collect retirement benefits, one important factor to take into account is how long you might live.  Social Security offers a Life Expectancy Calculator to help you get a rough estimate of how long you or your spouse may live.

Use Our Retirement Planner: Plan for Your Retirement
This planner provides detailed information about your Social Security retirement benefits under current law. It also points out things you may want to consider as you prepare for the future, such as your full retirement age.

Apply Online for Disability, Retirement, or Spouse’s Benefits
If you become disabled and unable to work, you can apply online for disability benefits, or, when you are ready to retire, you can apply online for retirement benefits and your spouse can apply online for spouse’s benefits.

Multilanguage Gateway
We offer Social Security information in Spanish and 17 other languages.


  • my Social Security  is a convenient way to access your personal Social Security information, whether you are working and paying Social Security taxes or are receiving Social Security benefits.
  • If you do not receive benefits, you can use a my Social Security account to get your Social Security Statement to:

Get estimates of your future retirement, disability, and survivors benefits;
Check your earnings once a year to verify the amounts we posted are accurate; and
View the estimated Social Security and Medicare taxes you’ve paid.

  • If you already receive Social Security benefits, you can use my Social Security to:

Get a benefit verification letter and use it as official proof of your income;
Check your benefit and payment information and your
earnings record;
Change your address and phone number; and
Start or change direct deposit of your benefits payment.

  • Open your free my Social Security account today and access your personal, online account information.

It takes just minutes;
It’s safe, convenient, and secure; and
It has advanced security features to protect your privacy.

  • To establish a my Social Security account, you must be 18 years of age and have a:

Valid email address;
Social Security number; and
U.S. mailing address.

  • To open an account, visit www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount and select “Create an account.”
  • To verify your identity, you will need to provide some personal information about yourself and answer some questions that only you are likely to know. This process protects you and ensures the privacy of your information.
  • Next, you choose a “username” and a “password.”   This process protects you and keeps your personal Social Security information private.
  • If you have a smartphone, you can use it to access www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount and open a my Social Security account.

Social Security is seeking to partner with federal and state agencies, and national and state organizations to participate in Employee Benefit Fairs and other events. Social Security will use this opportunity to help people sign up for their free online my Social Security account.

Irene Saccoccio
(410) 965-3779
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