What is Social Security?

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60 thoughts on “What is Social Security?

  1. When is the U.S. government going to pay back the funds borrowed from the Social Security Fund so there are not the continual comments as to when the fund will be bankrupt?

    • Here in Sheboygan county Wisconsin we have a SS office. However, my clients who are 60 and above go tot the office in our county and find the people there to be very unhelpful and rude. Just thought you should know.

      • Yes, Greensburg, Westmoreland Co, PA has the same trouble. The lady who processed my application failed to tell me how I could be eligible for a larger check each month by not taking mine but my husband’s then switch to mine when I retired at 70+. I am now paying dearly with a low monthly SSI check. I worked until I was 74. I may have to go back to work to keep up with home repairs, taxes and insurance costs.

      • Hi Patricia. We have referred your complaint to our Operations staff to follow up and to take corrective action as necessary. We appreciate your feedback, and thank you for bringing this to our attention.

    • Yes, when is our Government going to pay back all the money they took out of Social Security? When can we have a Law prohibiting our Government from using Social Security funds for anything other Social Security? When is our Government going to quit lying about Social Security going broke when it isnt? Social Security has worked since 1935 ! Is our more recent Governments jealous because they came up with a plan that still works so long ago?

      • Social Security is not going broke. It will not be long however before it pays out more than it takes in. Transferring from Peter to pay Paul will not create solvency. If the Government can no longer finance it’s debt then SS and all other programs will have to pay out less than what was promised.

      • Tony, Social Security is a pay-as-you-go system. Social Security taxes collected from today’s workers pay the benefits of today’s retirees. Any funds in excess of what is needed to pay today’s benefits are invested in special issue, U.S. Government, interest-bearing securities. This investment – the purchase of U.S. Government securities – is what constitutes the “borrowing” that people are sometimes concerned about. Any funds that have been “borrowed” from the Social Security Trust Funds have always been paid back in full, plus interest. Please check out our Trust Fund Frequently Asked Questions page for more information.

    • Hi Harry. Social Security taxes collected from today’s workers pay the benefits of today’s retirees. Any funds in excess of what is needed to pay today’s benefits are invested in special issue, U.S. Government, interest-bearing securities. This investment – the purchase of U.S. Government securities – is what constitutes the “borrowing” that people are sometimes concerned about. Any funds that have been “borrowed” from the Social Security Trust Funds have always been paid back in full, plus interest. Please check out our Trust Fund Frequently Asked Questions page for more information.

  2. i left word for a call back. The person called, the receptionist answered, the receptionist call me to say SS was on line 101, the person hung up the phone. This took all of 20-30 seconds.

    I am trying to find out this. I am 69 and plan to retire at age 70. If I retire at 69 and 6 months, does my monthly benefits increase from the benefits at age 69? or my benefits do not change between age 69 and age 70.

    • It’s my understanding that your monthly SS benefit payment will increase for every additional month until you submit your claim. For each additional year from your Full Retirement Age (say, from 66 until 70) you will receive approximately 8% more in your monthly SS benefit. That’s about 2/3% for each additional month you wait to apply for benefits. So, at age 69 1/2, your benefits will be about 4% more than if you had applied at age 69.

    • Good evening,

      Every month that you wait beyond your full retirement age you earn a delayed retirement credit (DRC). These credits take effect the following January or at age 70…so DRC’s earned in 2016 are effective with January 2017 – paid in February 2017 as SSA pays a month behind). In your case, if you turned 69 in 05/2016 you would then be paid at the 01/2016 rate with an increase effective with 01/2017 (for the 2016 DRC’s). If you turned 69 in 11/2015, filed for benefits effective with 05/2016 (69 1/2), you would be paid at the 01/2016 rate with the 2016 DRC’s taking effect 11/2016 (age 70). In short, every month that you wait beyond your full retirement age will yield a higher benefit amount (it just might not take effect right away). I hope that this helps.

      Here is a link to SSA policy discussing this issue:
      If you are not comfortable clicking on this link, the policy title and reference is: RS 00615.690 Delayed Retirement Credits (DRC).

    • At the ages you indicated you’d receive a smaller delayed retirement credit @ 69 rather than 70. The payment is fixed at the point you first elect payment and then only changes due to a COLA.

    • Hi, Steve. We are sorry to hear about your unpleasant experience and we understand your frustration. You can submit feedback by visiting our Contact Social Security page at http://ow.ly/CHBK306gVWr. To answer your question, benefits will increase a certain percentage from the time you reach full retirement age, until you start receiving benefits, or until you reach age 70. The percentage varies depending on your year of birth and the number of months you delay the start of your retirement benefits. The yearly rate of increase for those born in 1943 or later is 8%. To calculate your actual increase, go to our Delayed Retirement web page. We like to remind individuals age 65 or older and not ready to start their monthly cash benefits, that they can use our online retirement application to sign up for Medicare ONLY and apply for their retirement benefits at a later date. We hope this helps.

  3. What is Social Security? It’s a federal ponzi scheme that all Americans (except government workers who’ve been exempted) must pay into.

    It was approved shortly after it was told that it was declared to fail tests by actuaries.

      • Bruce, what do you suggest it be replaced with? Currently over 50% of seniors living on just Social Security make less than $1200.00 a month. If we did away with Social Security, there are many people that would not save for retirement as demonstrated by the 50%. SO … how would be take care of the millions of seniors over 65 that would have no source of income? Quit being arrogant and flippant. Engage in the conversation to fix the problem not just stir a pot.

        • Excuse me, I payed into SSI as did my husband, a navy vet and scientist,AND WE ALSO SAVED. It is never enough. It seems to me if you pay into something for 50 years, you should get a decent retirement for those precious years you live past work years.


    • Each year employers and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) send information to the Social Security Administration (SSA) on the earnings of the U.S. working population. SSA stores this earnings information in what is called the Master Earnings File (MEF). We post the earnings information to the record of the Social Security number that was reported. SSA cannot credit earnings to employee records unless the employee name and Social Security number on the wage report, matches the name and number in SSA’s files. All Social Security taxes go into the Social Security Trust Funds. When you work and pay Social Security taxes, you earn “credits” toward Social Security benefits. Individuals will have to contact their local Social Security office to correct their earnings record when necessary.

  5. I would like to hear some intelligent discussion so I can educate myself about how SS works before retirement…..Anyone know of a good blog I can go to?

    • The best place I have found to educate myself has been the Social Security website. It has all of the rules along with the information about Medicare. Medicare rules are the ones that can get you. All states in many areas have SHIP or HICAP counselors. They are people that are trained to provide unbiased Medicare information. Check with your local Community Center to see if they have face to face appts. Otherwise you can talk to someone over the phone.

    • Just google SSA and select the topic. Don’t waste your time with self appointed experts and don’t hire someone. You can also call the toll free # 800 772-1213 and ask for a pamphlet on any topic.

  6. When will SS ever help the “pickle” people get what they right fully are owed? Just wondering. If you wait a few more years they will all be dead and than you won’t have to worry about paying them back.

  7. There is a pay-out that I would love to understand the logic behind it. I know someone who is 60 years old. She was married for 10 years and was divorced 30 years ago and never remarried. Her ex-husband died and she began collecting survivor’s benefits. Why are we paying someone Social Security who is 60 and working because she never remarried? If she was eligible at 62 for her ex-husband’s benefit, I don’t necessarily think that is right but at least it makes some sense.

  8. We hope and pray that conditions in the United States begin to improve with the new President Elect Donald Trump.
    His job will be significantly more of a greater challenge because he will be working with an entire team in opposition from the continuous attacks and slurs coming from the Social Media, the Establishment, the DNC, the RNC the National Press, and all who were against this man.
    As Citizens of this Great Country we should stand strong, firm, and be supportive as we did with Barack Obama. When he was Elected. The Nation Lost then and now and yet all stood by his administration. It is not time for us to stand by the President Elect in respect of the Voters, the political process, the Laws we all live by in this great Nation. The last thing we need to do is hate each other, and fight amongst ourselves. We need to show the World that we are greater than that as a people of higher intelligence.
    My Grand Daughter a millennial has dropped her grand parents with hate and vulgarity but we still love her and know that at some point in her life she will see the errors in her ways as we should do in time. For I pray in name of the The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit: Amen.

  9. If the U.S. Can GIVE $ billions of dollars each year to other countries then it has more then enough money to support the social security program with ease if it wants to. It just has to WANT to make serving Americans a priority.

  10. Please don’t blame Reagan for the SS funds being thrown into the General Fund so they could use them for other funding. That error in judgement was Lyndon B Johnson and the congressmen of his term.

  11. This presentation is too sketchy. Social security is commonly, incorrectly, described as an “entitlement”. Any purported explanation of social security is inadequate if it doesn’t explain the funds come from the workers and are invested. Social security is NOT a government handout and any so-called explanation that doesn’t point this out is a disservice to social security.

  12. Here’s the kicker, social security that is taken out of your paycheck is considered a tax. When a person retires and gets social security payments it is taxed. These payments should not be taxed. Men get more than women because women are generally paid less than men in all categories of employment. The amount I will get at retirement (67) will not be enough to keep a roof over my head. They also take out medicare from the SS checks. Medicare should be free to all retirees over 65 period. Our government is one of the greatest liar, cheat and thief in the world.

  13. Many issues with Social Security may get fixed when we make ALL citizens participate & NOT have different retirement programs for politicians (Congress, Exec Branch, etc.).

  14. Maybe now, with a new President we will start to see effective, responsible government “Of the People and For the People”.
    After many years of wasteful spending and outright fraud; we should eliminate the sources of this waste and fraud, then the deft will be reduced, SS will be come more financially sound and AMERICA will be strong again.
    God Bless the new President!!!

    • Take some time to do some research in your new Presidents’ business background. I bet you paid more tax than he ever did and he know how to use the Bankruptcy court option very well.

  15. I want to say that I was told I would be eligible for ss disability but because I am over 66 I can’t get it. I think this is a horrible rule. Why is there an age limit?

    • Social Security disability benefits automatically change to retirement benefits when disability beneficiaries attain their full retirement age. If a person has reached his or her full retirement age (Currently 66) and is receiving Social Security retirement, they will not be eligible for disability benefits. Benefits are not interrupted with this transition and the benefit amount will generally remains the same. Social Security benefits are handled through the Old-Age and Survivors Insurance (OASI) and the Disability Insurance (DI) Trust Funds. We hope this helps to clarify this issue.

  16. i interested my social security alerts because i became nearly disable approximately this decade. thanks God.

  17. When I retired, my SS was to be about 1500 a month orv more. I retired from the city ot LA and when I applied for SS I was told I could not get my SS because I could not get two pensions. I retired from LAPD I, suppose to get over 2000,oo a month from,but guess what. my pension that I paid for does not allow that. I forget what my SS ws suppose to .I was about 1600.00 a month. I have been getting 150.00 for 20 years. I paid my dues,but people that didn’t, arev getting my money . We have to stop this now>

  18. WE have to stop cronic people on SS and other things like SS I retired from LAPD. I interviewed a 30 yer old woman who wanted to coe on thejob. She told me she wanted to be LAPDE because She liked uniform . I knew It was time for me to retire

    • Just a reminder – We do not have access to personal information in this venue. Please be cautious about posting personal information on social media channels. Thanks!

  19. I read that ITINs are given to undocumented immigrants in order to file taxes, Even when an undocumented immigrant doesn’t have legal work authorization. Is this true?

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