How Social Security Benefits Provide Thousands to Those in Need

The Social Security Administration (SSA) is a department of the government that has a variety of support opportunities available. In fact, almost 70 million people in America receive benefits from SSA. However, many people think that they may not be able to benefit from assistance through this department. Luckily, that may not necessarily be the case. In fact, individuals may be able to benefit more than they ever thought!

Each program that SSA provides serves the needs of different people with different circumstances. Things can get a bit confusing though when you try to understand what each program offers. That’s why we’re writing this article to give you a clearer picture of some of their popular programs, their benefits, as well as their eligibility terms. There are essentially 3 main programs that SSA uses to help out Americans in need. We’ll go over the details for each program.

  • Social Security Retirement Benefits
  • Social Security Disability Insurance
  • Supplemental Security Income

Social Security Retirement Benefits

Essentially, most working adults will pay Social Security taxes as part of their income. But, they can only receive the benefits of the program after they retire. More specifically, beneficiaries may only receive money from the program after they turn 62 years old. The amount each person may receive from the program may vary a lot according to many different factors. There are many deciding factors that influence the amount of money a beneficiary can receive. Among these factors is age. As we’ve already mentioned, no one can receive these benefits before age 62.

Another thing to keep in mind is ‘retirement credits’. The more an American works, the more credits they receive. These credits will heavily influence how much a person receives through retirement benefits. There’s a minimum amount of credits a person must collect in order to be eligible for retirement benefits. However, that minimum amount of credits depends on the year in which they were born. For individuals born after 1929, they need at least 40 work credits.

How Much Can I Actually Get?

Well, the maximum amount you can receive through retirement benefits is $4,194. But, as we mentioned before, there are many factors that may affect the amount you actually receive. One of the most important factors is how much that person earned in their largest 35 years of earnings. There are some things a person can do to qualify for higher benefits:

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)

SSA created SSDI to support Americans who can no longer maintain a livable wage due to a disability. Beneficiaries of SSDI must’ve worked for a certain qualifying period before applying for SSDI benefits. They must also provide documents proving their ailments. These ailments must also fall within the list of diseases eligible for SSDI.

The way SSA calculates a person’s disability benefits is by factoring in both their age and work history. When it comes to calculating a person’s SSDI benefits, SSA will often take the average of their earnings in the years before their disability. As of 2022, the average benefits applicants receive from SSDI are about $1,223 per month. However, the maximum benefits may reach up to $3,345 per month.

Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

The government created this program to provide limited financial assistance to Americans of old age, also those who suffer from disabilities, at any age. Essentially, the government wants to help out those who would have a hard time increasing their incomes, or making any at all.

When it comes to SSI qualifications, applicants need to:

  • Be an elderly person that’s at least 65 years of age or
  • Have a disability (at any age)
  • And have little to no income and resources.

If eligible, SSI applicants may receive their benefits within the first month of their application being approved. The maximum monthly SSI payout is $841 for single individuals and $1,261 for married couples.

How SSA Calculates Your Benefits

Some sources of income that the SSA will consider includes:

  • Bank accounts
  • Cash
  • Stocks
  • Bonds

You may receive SSI money from SSA if your resources are worth less than $2,000. Also, if you’re applying for SSI as a couple, that resource limit may increase to $3,000. There’s a long list of exceptions that they’ll also put into consideration.

Some of the sources of income that the SSA will not add to your income balance includes the following:

  • The first $20 a month of most income you receive
  • The first $65 a month you earn from working and half the amount over $65.
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits
  • The housing or food you receive from private nonprofit organizations
  • Home energy assistance benefits
  • Forms of financial aid like grants and scholarships that go towards educational expenses like tuition
  • Wages you use to pay for items or services that help you work if you’re disabled
  • Wages a blind person uses for work expenses

Bottom Line

The Social Security Administration (SSA) has a variety of different opportunities that can help individuals in need. Some of the people that can benefit from SSA assistance includes:

  • Retirees
  • Disabled individuals
  • Survivors of workers who have died
  • The dependents of beneficiaries

Three popular programs that can provide support to those in need include:

Each opportunity cna help in its own special way. That is why it is important to take the time to learn about each program and how it may end up providing you with benefits in the future. If you have any questions or want to get more information on any of the support that the SSA offers then you will want to get in touch with your local Social Security office. Luckily, the SSA provides tools that can help people find local offices near them online. You can also reach out to the national SSA telephone number at 1-800-772-1213.