General, Online Services, Retirement

Get Educated about Your Social Security Benefits

January 7, 2016 • By

Reading Time: 3 Minutes

Last Updated: August 19, 2021

A photograph of a mentor educating two students in front of a computer monitor.Summer’s just a memory, the days are cooler, and children are comfortably settling in their back-to-school routines. You should take this time to “hit the books” and learn more about what Social Security offers at our website.

If you’ve been to our website before, you’ll notice the new homepage is even better. We redesigned it based on your feedback. The top suggestion we received was to list all of our content on one page so that’s what you’ll see when you visit You’ll now find it’s easier than ever to find what you want without reading through a lot of links.

The new home page is also easier for mobile devices such as tablets and smart phones. Everything on the home page is accessible regardless of the browser used to access our site.

We want to answer all your burning questions about Social Security, so we’ve redesigned our frequently asked questions (FAQ) site as well at to make it easier to find the answers you need. Here you’ll find a link to the most popular FAQ’s as well as topics categorized by subjects such as “Medicare,” “Social Security Number and Card,” and “Same-Sex Couples.”

In launching the new FAQ site, we consolidated about 500 topics to less than 200 and revised the language to be clearer and more easily understood. This year, our redesigned FAQ site won the “Clear Mark Award for Distinction” from the Center for Plain Language.

Whether you’re starting to think about retirement, or if it’s far in the future, a good place to begin is with Social Security’s benefit planners at Here you can use our planners to help you understand how Social Security can provide for your financial future through retirement, survivors, and disability benefits.

Our Retirement Estimator at is a great tool to help you know how much in Social Security benefits to expect. After entering a few pieces of information, the Estimator makes use of your reported wages from years past and projects your current earnings in the future to give you an instant, personalized estimate of your future benefits. You can change the variables, such as the date you expect to retire and your future earnings, to see what you can expect in different scenarios.

For a more accurate picture of what you’ll receive from Social Security, you’ll want to join the nearly 20 million individuals who have registered for a my Social Security  account at

Registering only takes a few minutes, and then you’ll be able to view your earnings history, get an estimate of your benefit amount at retirement, and print your Social Security Statement.

If you’re truly ready to say goodbye to the daily grind, then it’s exciting to know that retirement is only a few clicks away. You can retire at www.socialsecurity/applyonline from the comfort of your favorite reclining chair or while sipping a drink at your local Wi-Fi hotspot. In most instances, there are no papers to sign or documents to provide and the process only takes a few minutes.

Thanks for cracking the books with us! Just know that wherever you are on life’s journey, you can count on Social Security’s online resources to help!

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About the Author

Jim Borland, Assistant Deputy Commissioner, Communications

Jim Borland, Assistant Deputy Commissioner, Communications


  1. Reynaldo G.

    You have restored my faith in the IP. I made an online recipe the other night, DISASTER, I had to throw it all out.This was so simple fast and tasty. I’d cook it 7 min next time, pasta a little too al dente for me. And maybe cut back a bit on the red pepper flakes.I wish I could find recipes about half the size, I’m a single guy and my freezer gets full trying all these recipes and saving leftovers.And BTW the best IP recipe I have made is an online recipe for Tikka Masala Chicken, amazing flavour and easy to make.Loving my Instant Pot!Thanks.

  2. Mary

    Thank you so much for your response. It relieves a lot of anxiety. : )

  3. Mary

    Then with the inheritance not affecting disability payments, then can someone buy a home while on SSD?

    • Ray F.

      Hi Mary! The Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits, are based on the individual’s previous earnings and contributions to the program. SSDI benefits are not subject to income and resource limits. Buying a home does not affect your SSDI benefits.

  4. Mary

    Im hoping someone can answer this general question….Can a person on SSDisability collect an inheritance and buy a home with it. Is there a penalty?

    • Ray F.

      Hi Mary. Generally, other income and resources do not affect your Social Security Disability Insurance or SSDI benefits. Unlike the Supplemental Security Income program (SSI), which pays benefits based on financial need, SSDI pays benefits if you are “insured,” meaning that you worked long enough and paid Social Security taxes. While there is a limit on the amount of money that you can earn through work, resources such as an inheritance will not affect your monthly SSDI benefit amount. You can call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213 if you need further assistance. Representatives are available Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Thanks!

  5. Ginette

    I have asked repeatedly about French social security. I was born and raised in France and am entitled to a small amount. I filed when I retired but the SS Office in Sacramento CA “conveniently” lost all my paperwork. Since then, I have questioned diverse institutions without ever getting the courtesy of a reply, let alone help. I am now very old and sure could use a little extra money. Where do I get help? When I attempted to get help on line, I was turned down as my French SS # supposedly was short one numeral. Yet, I used the one I had been given!!!

    • Ray F.

      Hi Ginette. We hope you understand, but your issue is a complex one and outside the scope of what can be handled via this forum. Please visit our International Programs webpage to learn more on how bilateral agreements program helps people who worked in the U.S. and abroad. If after browsing our site, you still have questions about international Social Security agreements, we encourage you to call the Social Security Administration’s Office of International Programs at (410)965-3322 or (410)965-7306. We hope this information helps!

  6. Marvella

    I found your weblog site on google and check a few of your early posts. Continue to keep up the extremely beneficial operate. I just additional up your RSS feed to my MSN News Reader. Seeking forward to reading more from you later on!

  7. Myrna

    I only want to make this statement regarding this misconception of entitlement to “your money” deducted for Soc. Sec. Soc. Sec. was created during the depression for the purpose of the disabled and elderly incapable of working to survive, much less compete with the younger and stronger for the minimal jobs available. After all, the elderly fought and worked hard in the making of this great nation. Intended as a temporary solution the government created this agency to deduct a percentage of each workers pay to provide for the elderly and disabled (war veterans), to honor their contributions, in a sense. Of course, it grew to what it is today, but this supplemental money came from workers before us, so as when they could no longer work they received benefits from the workers before them. I am not sure, exactly how the first set of workers fared, but the money you put in all the years you worked supplements the benefits of those retiring after you. Soc. Sec. is not your savings account, and granted benefits are determined by your contribution over lifetime employment, but it is not your money entitled to you. It was meant to serve the American citizen no longer able to (due to disability or age) contribute to the economy, and was a temporary solution. What comes first, the funds or its results? What started as two workers supplementing one recipient became 16 to 1 last I checked. I am certain that has changed, by now. It cannot last forever, and with fraud, errors, and government borrowing/policy, etc. lessens its longevity. Through all the crap and people’s greed and selfishness the percentage of impoverished elderly and disabled (vets) is evidence the funds do not serve its intended purpose effectively. Do I have a solution, no, not exactly, but our reliance on the government for solutions questions why when solution hardly meets its criteria. I just wanted to clear up the misconception of the deductions from your wages is your money held for retirement purposes, or if becoming disabled. Whatever monies are left in the fund from the deductions of the workers before you is where your benefits come from, just like your deductions will go to those retiring after you.

  8. Adeline. C.

    We did not get an increase this year……..
    However I read where Elizibeth Warren received one…….
    What makes her qualify for an increase with ALL her money???
    And all of us have to struggle on yesterday’s left overs…….

  9. Lee

    I am 65 and my husband is 56…I receive disability payments and he is still working….I have been told I can collect half of his social security retirement benefit…Is this true??

    • Ray F.

      Hi Lee. Your benefit as a spouse can be equal to one-half of your husband’s full retirement amount only if you start receiving those benefits at your full retirement age. To qualify for spouse’s benefits, your husband must be receiving retirement or disability benefits. When you qualify for Social Security benefits on your own record, we pay that amount first. But if you also qualify for a higher amount as a spouse later on, you’ll get a combination of benefits that equals that higher amount. Visit our Retirement Planner: Benefits For You As A Spouse for more information. Thanks!

  10. w w.

    I am on strict income call SSI and without cola my quality of life has diminished significantly. you name it and it has gone up except for Gas (both petroleum and natural gas).
    My medication, taxes, water electricity and food; these are big ticket items that a big chunk out of my monthly check for Social Insecurity. I and my wife worked hard all our lives and our blessed government now believes that even though we were required to contribute into this fund for our security during the end of days; they have the right to give to people who never contributed and want little we do gift is a gift from our gov. ( they do not owe us any thing.
    I would settle for what they received of mine then give the leftovers to the dead weight.

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