See how Social Security works in the United States and who can receive it

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Social Security is aimed at all American families, this insurance will reach all citizens. 

So it is worth noting that Social Security is to help older citizens, workers who develop disabilities, and families in which a spouse or parent passes away. 


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In 2021, about 176 million workers paid Social Security taxes and about 65 million received monthly benefits.

It is worth noting that most Social Security recipients are retirees and family members, and the number is 50 million citizens in June 2021 alone. 

So this is not the only source of income for these people when they retire. But, Social Security represents a percentage of a worker’s pre-retirement income based on their lifetime earnings.

Who is entitled to Social Security?

Many people are mistaken in thinking that Social Security is just a retirement program. And sure, most recipients are retirees, but others also receive benefits for many reasons, one example is because:

  • Someone with a qualifying disability;
  • A spouse or child of a person receiving benefits;
  • A divorced spouse of someone who receives or is eligible to receive Social Security benefits;
  • A spouse or child of a worker who has passed away;
  • A divorced spouse of a worker who has died;
  • A dependent parent of a worker who has died. 

Soon this varies from case to case, plus it is possible to receive Social Security at any age.  One example, children receive these Social Security benefits more than in any other program.

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How much is the retirement income in the United States?

To retire in the United States it is required age of 67 for both men and women, therefore, it can be anticipated to be 62 years if the person opts for a discount in the retirement amount.

And the amount of this retirement will vary according to the accumulation of credits in the calculation of time worked in the country.

It works like this: Social Security analyzes 1 credit for every 3 months of work until it adds up to 40 credits, and then you can apply for the benefit. 

Moreover, these 40 points correspond to the minimum time of 10 years, and the benefit is proportional to the time of contribution. However, in the United States, if a younger person wants to be entitled to the benefit, he/she must add up more credits to apply for early retirement.

Finally, in order to have the amount of the retirement benefit, it is necessary to know the proportion of the contribution time to Social Security. An example, in the year 2020, the maximum monthly retirement amounts were: 

  • $3,790.00 when the person retires at age 70;
  • $3,011.00 when the person retires at age 67;
  • $2,265.00 when the person retires at age 62.

What do I need to get Social Security?

To apply for the benefit is simple, it can be done through the Social Security website, then just fill out the required form, and after that send the documents that are requested. 

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For those who already have the required age and time of work, you can request the benefit up to 4 months before the date you intend to start receiving the retirement, many different from disability cases, where it must be requested immediately.

How is Social Security paid?

Benefits are paid electronically. However, you also have the option of choosing to receive it by depositing it into your account at a financial institution. 

If you do not have an account with any bank, you may prefer to receive the benefits on a prepaid debit card, and you can also enroll in the Direct Express card program.

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