5 Benefits You Could Receive from Social Security if You Meet All the Requirements

When most people think of Social Security, they often imagine retirement payments. However, there are several other benefits available through Social Security, including disability insurance, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), and survivors and family benefits. Not everyone qualifies for all these benefits, and sometimes, they may not be sufficient on their own. In some cases, you may even qualify for multiple benefits simultaneously.

Types of Benefits

To qualify for Social Security retirement benefits, you need to have earned 40 work credits. You earn these credits by working and paying payroll taxes. In 2024, you get one work credit for each $1,730 you earn. Generally, it takes about 10 years of work to earn the required 40 credits.

Disability Insurance

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) requires that you have worked a minimum number of years and paid sufficient taxes into the system. You must also have a qualifying disability that meets the SSA’s strict definition. For instance, if you want to claim SSDI at age 60, you must have worked for at least 9.5 years. Younger individuals can qualify with fewer work credits.

Supplemental Security Income

SSI is designed for low-income Americans who are disabled, blind, or aged 65 and older. Some recipients of retirement or SSDI benefits may also qualify for SSI if their income and resources are limited.

Survivors and Family Benefits

When a worker passes away, their family members, such as spouses and children, may be eligible for benefits based on the worker’s record. Additionally, they may receive a death lump sum. Similarly, when a worker qualifies for retirement or SSDI benefits, their family members might also be eligible for monthly payments.

Requirements

Earning work credits is crucial for qualifying for retirement and disability benefits. Here’s a quick look at how you can earn them:

  • Work Credits: One credit for every $1,730 of earnings in 2024.
  • Retirement Benefits: Requires 40 work credits, usually accumulated over 10 years.
  • SSDI: Requires sufficient work history and a qualifying disability.

SSI Eligibility

SSI is aimed at low-income individuals who meet specific criteria:

  • Disability or Blindness: Must have a qualifying condition.
  • Age: Must be at least 65 years old.
  • Income and Resources: Must meet low-income requirements.

Survivors and Family Benefits

Family members can receive benefits under certain conditions:

  • Survivors Benefits: Available to spouses, children, and other family members of a deceased worker.
  • Family Benefits: Spouses and children of workers eligible for retirement or SSDI may qualify for monthly payments.

Checking Your Eligibility

To ensure you receive the benefits you qualify for, utilize the SSA’s benefit calculator tools. You can also use your Social Security Statement to understand your potential payment amounts and eligibility for different benefits.

Quick Reference Table

Benefit TypeEligibility Criteria
Retirement40 work credits (10 years of work)
Disability InsuranceWork credits (varies by age) and a qualifying disability
SSILow income, disability/blindness, or age 65+
Survivors BenefitsFamily members of deceased workers
Family BenefitsSpouses and children of workers with retirement or SSDI benefits

Knowing the complexities of Social Security benefits can be challenging. Knowing the various types of benefits and their eligibility requirements is the first step towards making the most of what the system has to offer. Whether you’re planning for retirement, dealing with a disability, or managing the loss of a loved one, Social Security provides essential support for many Americans.

FAQs

How many work credits do I need for retirement benefits?

You need 40 work credits.

Can I get both SSDI and SSI?

Yes, if you meet the income requirements for SSI.

Who qualifies for survivors benefits?

Family members of deceased workers.

What is the minimum work requirement for SSDI?

It varies, but typically around 9.5 years for those claiming at age 60.

How can I check my benefit eligibility?

Use the SSA’s benefit calculator tools.

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