Introduction To Social Security
By Joseph Kenny
In order to address the routine concerns of many, regarding the payment of bills post-retirement or disability, a federal benefits program was designed in the United States, in 1935, known as the Social Securities Act. The program known as the social security program provides disability, retirement, unemployment and survivor benefits and Medicare. The benefits offered aim at providing financial support to the citizens of the U.S., who fall under the categories specified within the paradigms of the program.
The Social Security Act of 1935 introduced the social security system in the US. The system caters to the financial needs of the retired citizens, who have contributed to the social security trust fund for at least 10 years. It also provides benefits to the survivors, in event of the employee’s death. The other benefits offered cover disability and unemployment.
It is essential for the person to make the regular required contribution to the Social Security Trust Funds through the payroll taxes, to be eligible. By virtue of the provisions of the Federal Insurance Contributions Act or FICA, every worker’s income is subject to a tax payment of 12.4% on the first $94,200 earned during the year. Half of this amount or 6.2% is paid by the employer, while the other 6.2% is deducted from the salary of the employee. The amount is given to the government. Self-employed people are responsible for paying the full 12.4%. This amount is used fund the social security system.
The system has been designed to benefit those who make the necessary contributions for a period of ten years. There is a credit system incorporated in the scheme and you can earn a maximum of four credits per year. This means that irrespective of the higher limit of your actual earnings and consequently the quantum of your contribution to the fund, your earnings would entitle you to receive four credits.
monthly social security check that you would receive after retirement would be calculated on the basis of your 35 highest income-generating
years. You need to apply, to start receiving you social security benefits. The
best time to do this would be a few months before your actual retirement date.
The social security program attempts to pay the retired
citizens a pre-determined sum of money, to cover their basic needs. It works
as a kind of insurance for the retired people, helping them to cope with financial
It is a form of insurance that covers the
surviving spouse and children, in case of the employee’s death. If the spouse
is between 62 to 65 years, 70 to 99 percent of the benefits are payable. Dependent
parents and unmarried children under 18 years are entitled to receive the benefits
Disability that prevents employment opportunity is also considered
for benefits under the social security system. Physical and mental disabilities
are also covered and the payment starts five months after proving the disability
to the authorities.
Under the social security system, unemployment benefits
are available to those whose unemployment is due to circumstances beyond their
control. The program is designed to provide financial relief to the citizens
of the U.S. at crucial times.