Most people, when they think about Social Security, think of it as a retirement benefit. This is certainly a major use for this fund, but it also exists to help people in a range of other situations and provides vital benefits to millions of people every year.
You may not be aware of the benefits you can collect for disability, for dependents or for losing a loved one, but these can be vital to making ends meet at difficult times. Learn about the Social Security Administration, what benefits they offer to retirees and disabled people, and how a social security lawyer helps your case.
Benefits Available under Social Security
While retirement benefits are probably the most common form of Social Security benefits people receive, the administration exists as a sort of insurance policy that covers all working Americans to protect them from unfortunate and tragic incidents in their lives. In addition to retirement, those who are eligible can also receive disability insurance, survivors benefits and dependent benefits under the program.
Receiving Social Security involves meeting a qualifying condition, and having built up enough work credits, which usually comes down to working a specific amount of years in a designated period, based on your age.
This most common benefit allows you to collect income from the government when you reach retirement age. At minimum, you must be at least 62 to collect Social Security for retirement, but if you wait until you’re age 65 or 67 (depending on the year you were born) you will receive more. In addition, if you wait until age 70, your benefits will increase still further.
SSDI, or Social Security Disability Insurance, covers people who meet certain work requirements and meet the qualifications for being disabled under Social Security guidelines. This means having a condition listed in the administration’s “blue book” list of qualifying conditions, or being able to prove that you won’t be able to earn a living for a period of at least 12 months. Benefits can range from a few hundred dollars a week up to full retirement benefits.
These benefits are available to spouses of retired or disabled workers, or to their minor or disabled children if the worker is eligible for social security. Despite being called “dependent benefits,” the recipients don’t necessarily have to rely upon the worker financially to qualify. Benefit amounts are based on the worker’s earnings records.
Again, if someone is eligible for social security and they pass away, these benefits are available to their surviving spouse, or to their surviving minor or disabled children. Like dependent benefits, the amount received is based on the earnings records of the deceased person.
Same-Sex Benefits and the Social Security Lawyer
Many people have trouble collecting benefits to which they are entitled. Same-sex married couples, for example, are currently entitled to all of the same benefits as intersex married couples following a Supreme Court ruling, and if you’ve been denied for this reason or any other, a social security lawyer may be able to help you get your approval. Call Heuser & Heuser for advice, help or more information today.