Social Security is a "safety net" of income for older adults. As people work throughout their lifetime, they contribute through payroll deductions to their social security "account". At a certain age, a person can then elect to receive monthly payments based on those earnings.
Social Security has many programs. Some of them are:
- Medicare Prescription Drug Program
- Death Payments
Make sure that you are receiving all the benefits you are entitled to. Talk to a Social Security representative at their toll-free number 1-800-772-1213 or go online to find information
The Benefit Eligibility Screening Tool (BEST) is a tool that you can use to find out if you could be eligible for benefits from any of the programs Social Security administers. This tool will give you eligibility information based on answers you give to the questions. The program is not an application for benefits.
Social Security also offers various planning tools to help you plan for the future which would include Social Security benefits. To calculate what that amount may be, Social Security offers online calculators and periodically sends out statements that estimate monthly amounts based on past earnings.
Benefit Eligibility Screening Tool (BEST)
Find Your Retirement Age
How Your Retirement Benefit is Figured
Near Retirement? What You Need to Know
The Social Security Administration is responsible for two major programs that provide benefits based on disability:
- Social Security Disability
based on prior work under Social Security
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
payments are made on the basis of financial need
"More than six million people who get monthly Social Security or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, or both, need someone to help them manage their money. When a person needs this kind of help, the Social Security Administration--after a careful investigation--appoints a relative, friend or another interested party to serve as the beneficiary's "representative payee." The person's Social Security or SSI benefits are then paid in the representative payee's name on the beneficiary's behalf." *Social Security
Medicare and Medicaid fall under the Social Security Administration but will be discussed as separate resources.
To follow are direct links to helpful resources on the Social Security website.