Disability, Retirement, Survivors

5 Ways Social Security Protects You and Your Family

January 18, 2018 • By

Reading Time: 2 Minutes

Last Updated: July 16, 2021

family of 3 by a Christmas tree, drinking hot chocolate Next payday, when you see a portion of your wages go toward FICA taxes, rest easier knowing that your investment in Social Security brings a lifetime of protections for you and your family.

From your first job and throughout your career, we track your earnings and give you credits for the contributions you’ve made through payroll taxes. Those credits can translate into important future benefits. As you prepare for a financially secure future, you should know about these five benefits that you, your spouse, and your children may become eligible for through Social Security:

Retirement benefits provide you with a continuous source of income later in life. If you’ve earned enough credits, you can start receiving your full retirement benefits at age 66 or 67 — depending on when you were born. You may choose to claim these benefits as early as age 62 at a permanently reduced rate, but waiting until after your full retirement age increases your benefit amount by up to 8 percent per year to age 70. Plan for your retirement on our Retirement Benefits page.

Disability benefits offer a financial lifeline if you’re struck by a serious medical condition that makes it impossible for you to work and provide for yourself and your family and is expected to last at least one year or to result in death. Learn more on our Benefits for People with Disabilities page.

Child benefits support your minor children while you’re receiving Social Security retirement benefits or disability benefits. This financial support also is available to adult children who become disabled before age 22. Grandchildren and stepchildren may qualify in certain situations. Please see our Parents and Guardians page.

Spousal benefits supplement a couple’s income if one of the two never worked or had low lifetime earnings. In some cases, this benefit is also available to divorced spouses. Please see our Retirement Benefits page.

Survivors benefits ease the financial burden on your loved ones after you die by providing monthly payments to eligible widows, widowers, children, and dependent parents. It’s likely the survivor benefits you have under Social Security carry greater value than your individual life-insurance policy. Read more on our Survivors Benefits page.

You must meet specific eligibility requirements to receive any type of Social Security benefits.

Currently, Social Security provides benefits to more than 66 million American workers and their families. And we’ll be there for you and your family through life’s journey.

Learn more about all of our programs on our website.

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About the Author

Jim Borland, Acting Deputy Commissioner for Communications

Jim Borland, Acting Deputy Commissioner for Communications


  1. l: c.

    if your ex-spouse dies and you never remarried will SSI contact you if ex-spouse passes away. getting tired of going to ssi office to check this. do not have any contact will ex-spouse. am drawing on mine now.

    • Ray F.

      To see if you’re eligible for a higher benefit on your ex-spouse’s record, it is best if you continue contacting us. If you’re unable to visit the local office, you can call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213. Representatives are available Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.
      Generally, you will experience shorter wait times if you call later during the day or later in the week. Thanks!

  2. Martha S.

    Schumer Shutdown is all about helping illegal aliens!
    Nothing to do with the budget!!
    Democrats hate American citizens?

  3. V. R.

    I love Social Security. I do hope future generations understand the benefits of saving through FICA. And, I hope the government wisely protects these funds.

  4. Dallas L.

    My December 1017 payment was reduced by $140,00 ($2,221 payment) from the previously $2,361 payment each month. Can this be reinstated to the higher monthly payment? If not please advise why the reduction was made. I have been continuing working past the retirement age, and continuing to contribute to my account. Please advise

  5. What C.

    This is hard to believe considering What Congress is trying to do.

  6. Linda S.

    I worked for a SHIP Program and knew this information. Many don’t. You have done an excellent job explaining benefits.

    • Ray F.

      Thanks for the feedback, Linda! We value your opinion of us and look forward to many more years of serving all of our customers in the future.

  7. leroy t.

    thanks need a raise

  8. Dawn D.


    • Dawn D.

      Please help me go to school. I made a mistake twenty years ago. I can’t hwlp i went crazy

  9. hassan

    Super Post, celkom máš pravdu, i keď niektorým otázkam i aspekty Tine sporná.
    iste rovnaký blog môžu spoľahnúť rešpekt. Iste, že napriek tomu som
    klesať.ورق مس

  10. Gennady

    for my family fell good I need good payment help me please pay more money to my disability MS do for me very bad balance no walking I very want to work only hard to do any think Please help me 1000 time thank you!!!

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