Social Security Benefits: Three Major Categories Described!

There are 3 categories in which social security administrations can offer advantages to the citizens which are in case you become disabled, retirement and the last one in case of death. Information regarding social security advantages and criteria is available on the website of SSA website. For many years the age of receiving SS benefits is 65 for people who are born after the year 1938 it is also gradually elevating until a person reaches at the age of 62. On the off chance an individual wish to receive the SS benefits early, then the age requirement is 62. At the age of 62, the benefits are also reduced if they retire at the age 62. The individuals have a choice of retiring at the age of sixty-two and the full age of retirement. To qualify for receiving the benefits of social security you must be earning SS credits while they are working and are also paying their SS taxes.

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Social security credits

As mentioned earlier to receive the benefits you need to earn a credit which is the credits gathered during their work history and this is what is going to determine their eligibility to receive SS benefits.  These are the credits which are counted for the eligibility for disability, retirement and survivors benefits as well. Each year the earnings amount is also increased a little bit. The credits are recorded even if the individual switches his/her job. Credits are also counted in case a person is not working for a while.  For the SS coverage, there are special rules for specific work type.  In case of self-employment the credits are similarly obtained however there are certain rules which apply to their earnings.  In case a person is working for the military the familiar rules are applied as for the civilians. But military personnel get additional credits under specific conditions. There are special rules applied in case of 
  • Farm work
  • Domestic work
  • Individuals working for the church
  • Church controlled organizations

These are the individuals who do not pay social security taxes but can still gain SS benefits because they fall under certain categories. On the other hand, there are work types where social security is not counted.

Helpful social security benefits



Retirement benefits

The majority of the federal employees who are hired before the year 1984, however since the date first January 1983 all the employees of the federal have paid for the Medicare insurance as a part of the SS tax.  There are others as well who are affected like railroad works that have completed their ten years of the complete service.  Employees of the local federal and few states chose not to participate and also fail to qualify and the children younger than 21 who assist their parents in the household task.  Individuals can also choose to delay their retirement and get added credits at the time of receiving social security benefits. Their benefits get elevated depending on the year they are born. This will increase their benefits automatically till they reach the full retirement age 70 years.  To receive social security retirement benefits you just need to complete your work years. In case you decide to work even after the retirement still you are going to receive your full social security benefits.

Disability benefits

There are 2 different ways by which social security disability benefits are delivered to an individual which are
  • Through SS disability framework
  • Supplemental security income framework

SSA also pays to the people who are disabled and cannot work due to their disabilities. They might be suffering from any medical conditions, handicap or physically impaired. The benefits can last for at least one year or in case of the death. To qualify for the disability benefits there are strict definitions stated by the federal law. There are other benefit categories like short-term disability, the partial disability which does not come under the social security benefits, but other programs. To be eligible for the benefits individuals needs to meet the criteria for earnings. You need to meet two different earning tests to fit in with the disability benefits.

  • “Recent work” is the first category which is based on the age of an individual at the time of the miss-happening and getting disabled.


  • “Duration work” is the 2nd test that shows the individual has worked enough under the social security.


It is important for the disabled individual to apply for the SS disability benefits as soon as possible. The reason is the long haul procedure of receiving benefits. The application takes a long time to process, typically three to five months. At the time of applying for the SS disability benefits and sending application make sure that you meet all the basic requirements. This will also minimize the chances of getting your application rejected.
In case you meet all the requirements SSA will forward your application to the disability determination services office.  This is the agency which takes decision for the social security administrations; they take the assistance of the disability experts and doctors to consult with your doctors about your condition.  There are many facts which are considered.  They are also going to gather evidence from the offices of the doctors, hospital, medical institutions, clinics where the individuals have received their treatments to gather all the imperative information.

Survivor’s benefits

A part of the SS taxes also goes towards the survivor's insurance for the families of an individual.  The value of the SS survivors insurance is more than the life insurance.  To earn the social security survivor benefits one needs to work and obtain credits similar to the retirement benefits.   To be eligible for such benefits an individual just need to complete ten years of working.  Under special circumstances, families are paid with the benefits in case the individual has worked for a year, half or three years just before their death.
 To know more about the social security benefits, application procedure, age criteria and eligibility visit the website of the social security administrations.