Why is Social Security Important Today

There is a general perception that Social Security is only for senior citizens that are approaching retirement or have already retired. It is for this reason that many people fail to realize the full benefits of social security as they only start paying attention to it at a later time in life. The reality of the matter is, there are a lot more benefits that one can get from social security other than the commonly known retirement benefits. There are benefits for the disabled, survivors, and also benefits for those that need medical care. These are some of the benefits that you can tap it decades before you retire.

In America today:

  • There are 3 million children that are collecting the benefits of their dead, disabled or retired parents.
  • Spouses account for over 30% of all Social Security benefits paid out for workers that are either deceased, retired or disabled.
  • About ¼ of all youth today will suffer a disability before attaining the age of 67.
  • About 60% of most working adults above 54 are disabled.

This means that the society faces real risks and some very grim odds. This is why social security is so important today. It is one of the best ways to plan for your future and that of your loved ones.

The Issue of Benefits

As far as pre-retirement is concerned, Social Security benefits both the workers and their families. These are the benefits that help shape your financial plan for the future and help you prepare for what may come.

Benefits enjoyed by the worker

Other than the commonly known retirement income, a worker is also eligible to get medical coverage and income if they become disabled. This means that if you are disabled and can no longer work, you can get some income from Social Security. Your work history, however, determines the type of program that you are enrolled in. These are:

  1. Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)
  2. Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

The SSDI formula for payment is quite complex but you are eligible if you have worked for over 10 years or meet some of their age-based exceptions. Disability also makes you eligible for Medicare and Medigap after 24 months with the condition.

Benefits enjoyed by the family of the worker

In the unfortunate incident that you either die or suffer a disability, your spouse and children are entitled to some benefits as well.

The spouse is only eligible if you have been married for over 12 months and for 9 months if they are intending to collect survivor benefits. Qualification extends to those that:

  • Are caring for a child under the age of 16
  • Are aged 62 and above
  • Are survivors aged 60
  • Are disabled and over 50 years of age

In case of death, the spouse can collect all of your FRA benefits if they are at their full retirement age or are caring for a child under 16 years. In case of disability, the spouse can collect 50% of your FRA if they also meet the aforementioned criteria.

Benefits enjoyed by the children

In case of death or disability, biological, dependent or adopted children are eligible for benefits if they are:

  • Unmarried
  • Less than 18 years old
  • A full-time secondary student of 18-19 years
  • 18 years or more and disabled before they were 22 years old

In case of death, children can collect 75% of your FRA ad 50% if you become disabled. These benefits continue till the children turn 18 or for a longer period if the child was disabled before the age of 22.

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