Disability, Retirement

Now That You Have Your First Job, Labor Day Has a Deeper Meaning

September 4, 2018 • By

Reading Time: 2 Minutes

Last Updated: September 4, 2018

woman holding phone and smiling Labor Day is usually associated with cookouts, the end of summer, and going back to school. Now that you have your first job, you’re learning the true meaning behind this holiday. From today on, when Labor Day rolls around, you’ll think of the hard work you put in during the year. What you should also think of is how the fruit of that labor will one day translate into Social Security benefits for you and your family.

Social Security is here with benefits, tools, and information to help you secure today and tomorrow. Here’s some things you should know:

  1. When you work, two types of federal taxes are deducted from your wages: 6.2% of your gross wages goes toward Social Security taxes and 1.45% goes to Medicare taxes. These are FICA taxes. FICA stands for “Federal Insurance Contributions Act.” This is the law that funds both Social Security and Medicare through payroll taxes. Employees share this cost with their employer.
  2. Your FICA contributions earn Social Security credits. You can earn up to four credits a year. Most of today’s workers need at least 40 credits to be eligible for retirement benefits. That’s about ten years of work.
  3. These mandatory contributions are there to protect you. Disability could happen at any moment in our lives. If it does, Social Security is there for you, and your family, or future family.

Social Security is much more than a retirement program. We pay benefits to workers who become severely disabled, and to certain surviving family members when a worker dies. The number of credits you need to qualify for these benefits depends on your age when you become disabled or die.

Do you have a personal my Social Security account? If not, open yours today. With a personal my Social Security account, you can get your Social Security Statement to review estimates of your future retirement, disability, and survivors benefits; review your earnings to verify the amounts posted are correct; and see estimated Social Security and Medicare taxes you’ve paid. You’ll find it’s easy, convenient, and secure.

Your contributions help to provide benefits that improve the quality of life for generations to come. Visit our website and learn how Social Security is with you throughout life’s journey.

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About the Author

Jim Borland, Acting Deputy Commissioner for Communications

Jim Borland, Acting Deputy Commissioner for Communications


  1. Edward J.

    if I cash in my 401k before I retire does it count against the 18,000 I can make after I retire

  2. Sheree

    How can I live on 750. A month , I have sold everything I own.! I keep drowning with utilities, and toilet paper is now a luxury! I’m disabled,to makes it even harder
    Yes I am American and Caucasian

  3. Cheryl R.

    Need to change my direct deposit information as it was compromised by an internet scammer…they got ALL my banking information as to what account my social security payment is now deposited.

    • V.V.

      Hi Cheryl. Thanks for the question. If you’re receiving Social Security benefits (retirement, survivors, or disability), you can start or update your direct deposit information by using your personal my Social Security account.

      If receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or unable to conduct business online, you can start or update your direct deposit by contacting the bank, credit union, or savings and loan association or by calling Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778).

      See our Frequently Asked Questions web page for more information.

  4. George S.

    I think labor is a hero of our society. Just think like that they are doing every work and we are just command them. I went to a Dubai for my website work :
    http://timetutors.com/ . I saw a many people are working hard but receiving a small amount of money.

  5. Jacqueline S.

    We would have SS if the judges keeps award everyone that not life or permanently disabled, ppl getting SS bc they have asthma, if they checked more into people’s life they will see that they are working, plus collecting SS, I no so many ppl that’s on it plus works and not letting SS no anything, all bc they don’t want to work, just like drs giving out HP plaques when they are fine, I no ppl taking there kids to drs then file for SS, if SS spy’s on them they would save a lot of money, this upsets me to no end, when I no what there doing just so they don’t have to work. This is why SS going broke.

    • R.F.

      Hi Jacqueline, thank you for your concern. We take allegations of fraud very seriously. If you suspect fraud, waste or abuse of Social Security benefits, we encourage you to report it. Thanks again!

  6. Devonna M.

    How much money can u earn on sat how much per hour and weekly

  7. Cromagnum

    I think the non compos mentís “software engineers” at SSA who are earning(?) big bucks should put into their program not to send retirees absurd “First job” and other equally ludicrous, irrelevant bogus jargon.

  8. Melburn C.

    Don’t have a job, trying to get one. I’m disabled.My father served in the Army & National Guard for 24 years , worked every day of his life but 2 weeks my mother died at age 36.He passed away 2 weeks before he received any check from the Military or social security.l had to send both checks back, only to receive one later for$ 233.00 dollars I sent it back to , that’s an insult to a man that served his country & paid into social security that many years. At least his kids or grandkids should have received something to me that’s government stealing. Thanks for reading this . Melburn Cecil Willis jr

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