Social Security 101: Retirement and Disability
Need to know more about retirement and disability? Here are some of the answers you’re looking for!
In many ways, Social Security is indeed like a pension plan. It is based on three main factors — eligibility, earnings, and age — but the program has a unique spin on each of these.
To qualify for Social Security, a person must have 40 work credits. People can earn up to four work credits a year, which amounts to about 10 years of work for those 40 credits. In 2015, people received one work credit for every $1,220 they earn during the year. Earning $4,880 got a worker four credits for that year.
It is important to remember that this only applies if you pay Social Security taxes on your income. But, unlike most pensions which are based on your best five years of earnings at your job, Social Security is based on the best 35 years of work. Since people tend to earn the most later in their careers, that is one reason people tend to work for longer. The best 35 years are taken through your lifetime, no matter when they were earned.
When it comes time to apply for Social Security, you may be applicable for your own plan, you current spouse’s, your ex-spouse’s, your deceased spouse’s, or if you are very young, your parents. You can apply as early as 62, or at your full retirement age of between 65 and 67. You may be applicable for delayed credits somewhere as late as the age of 70.
Of course, social security isn’t just for retirees — 86% of Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients received payments because of disability or blindness in 2014. If you have been disabled for 12 months or expect to be disabled for that amount of time, you may be eligible for Social Security Disability. You are entitled to these benefits for as long as you are disabled, but unfortunately, the Social Security Administration initially denies many of those claims.
Even if you get an injury on the job — 74% of states have laws requiring all businesses to have workers’ comp — that compensation may not be enough. Believe it or not, it can be very common — 85% of worker’s compensation claims are attributed to employees slipping on slick floors.
That’s where a social security lawyer comes in. They understand the law and procedures surrounding the process of collecting disability social security and will help you collect what you are owed.
The social security attorneys will help gather information about your case, guide you through the various stages required in a social security disability program case, and attend hearings to present relevant evidence, among many other things.