All About Social Security Retirement Benefits

The government of United States has taken a number of steps to ensure that the people lead a respectable life, even after they have retired or if they are disabled by whatever reason. The Social Security Retirement Benefit is a key step in this direction. These benefits are open to all eligible workers of United States. The number of those eligible for Social Security Retirement Benefits spans across to cover almost 96% of the work force of United States. Moreover the law makes special provision in this benefit for people who are physically challenged.

Eligibility Criteria
In order to qualify for social security, you would have to be a working citizen of United States and must have paid your Social Security taxes. For the money that you pay as tax, you will earn social security credits. Your year of birth will form the basis on which it will be decided how many credits you need to become eligible for social security retirement benefit. For the people who were born either in 1929 or in any later year,social security department has mandated 40 credits. This amounts to 10 years of work and no arrears in social security taxes.

Value of Social Security Benefits
This is easily the most common query for social security officers - how much will a person get as the social security retirement benefit. The answer to this question varies on case to case basis and is decided according to the total money that you earned while you were working. The logic is simple - the more you earned, the more you had to pay in social security taxes and hence the more you will receive as your social security retirement benefit. Another key factor that is accounted for while deciding the benefit is the age at which you choose to retire. The early you choose to retire, the lesser will your benefits be.

What about your family?
Social security retirement benefits are available for the family members of eligible workman as well. This is applicable to widows and widowers. There are special benefits for people who are disabled While normally the surviving partner benefits start at the age of 60 or 62, in case the survivor is handicapped, the benefits start from the age of 50. In case the couple is alive, the spouse takes benefit from the age of 62 though in cases of a dependent child under 16 or a dependent who is handicapped, the benefits can start earlier.

In such a case it must also be understood that the disabled children are by themselves also eligible for social security retirement benefits as soon as they turn 18. Moreover if such children have never worked themselves, they get these benefits in addition to the other disability benefits.