Your Contributions Make Our Nation Stronger

March 27, 2017 • By

Reading Time: 2 Minutes

Last Updated: March 27, 2017

man & woman reading on the couchAt first, seeing taxes taken out of your paycheck can be a little disappointing. However, you can take pride in knowing you’re making an important impact each week when you contribute to Social Security. Understanding how important your contribution is takes some of the sting away because your taxes are helping millions of Americans — and protecting you and your family for life — as well as wounded warriors, the chronically ill, and disabled.

By law, employers must withhold Social Security taxes from a worker’s paycheck. While usually referred to as “Social Security taxes” on an employee’s pay statement, sometimes the deduction is labeled as “FICA” which stands for Federal Insurance Contributions Act, a reference to the original Social Security Act. In some cases, you will see “OASDI” which stands for Old Age Survivors Disability Insurance.

The taxes you pay now translate to a lifetime of protection — for retirement in old age or in the event of disability. And when you die, your family (or future family) may be able to receive survivors benefits based on your work as well.

Because you may be a long way from retirement, you might have a tough time seeing the value of benefit payments that could be many decades in the future. But keep in mind that the Social Security taxes you’re paying can provide valuable disability or survivors benefits now in the event the unexpected happens. Studies show that of today’s 20-year-olds, about one in four will become disabled, and about one in eight will die, before reaching retirement.

Be warned: if an employer offers to pay you “under the table,” you should refuse. It’s against the law. They may try to sell it as a benefit to you since you get a few extra dollars in your pay. But you’re really only allowing the employer to cheat you out of your Social Security credits.

If you’d like to learn a little more about Social Security and exactly what you’re building up for yourself by paying Social Security taxes, take a look at our online booklet, How You Earn Credits, at

If you have a friend who lost a parent when they were a child, they probably got Social Security survivors benefits. Social Security helps by providing income for the families of workers who die. In fact, 98 of every 100 children could get benefits if a working parent dies. And Social Security pays more benefits to children than any other federal program. You can learn more at

Do you prefer videos to reading? Check out webinar, “Social Security 101: What’s in it for me?” The webinar explains what you need to know about Social Security. You can find it at as well as on YouTube at

You can also learn more at


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About the Author

Jim Borland, Acting Deputy Commissioner for Communications

Jim Borland, Acting Deputy Commissioner for Communications


  1. Holly S.

    I need to have taxes taken out of my Social Security Check – what do I do to get this taken care of ?

    • Ann C.

      Hi, Holly. In order to have taxes withheld from your Social Security benefit, you must start by printing, completing and submitting an IRS Voluntary Withholding Request Form (Form W-4V). On this form, you can choose to have 7, 10, 12, or 22 percent of your monthly benefit withheld. Form W-4V (to withhold federal taxes from your Social Security benefits) can be returned to your local Social Security office by mail or in person. See our Benefits Planner: Withholding Income Tax From Your Social Security Benefits web page for more information. We hope this helps.

  2. Larry U.

    Can you please send me w4v form I found it on your web but it would not let me print it thank 1111 Harms Way Port Orange fl 32129

  3. Jane E.

    we are missionaries and since 2015 our Mission Agency chose to no longer contribute a portion of of our salary to FICA. We failed to read and act upon the email sent to us that included the instuction to submit Self- Employment payments on our own….
    How do we catch up our missing payments for 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018. Do we submit our W-2 amounts for each of those years?

  4. Arthur H.

    I need to have Federal Income Taxes withheld from my SS account. What do I do?

  5. Christina J.

    Im trying to fill out the W4V and it states to pick the percentage of taxes to be witheld. Either, 7, 10, 12 or 22%. do i pick??

  6. Ted B.

    I need to have taxes with held on my SS payments . I have been all over the web site and can find no help. I have held on the phone at 800 772 1213 for 55 minutes two times and was never answered . My phone battery died the first time . The web site suggested I open an account I tried but was refused . I give up.

  7. William

    Knowledge is power bottom line upfront.

  8. Bill B.

    i am happy with what I get monthly, but I would take more, if it was offered to us.

    • Bill B.

      Oops! I and not i.

  9. mathew p.

    you sound like a first class crook

  10. Marc

    How did Americans become so utterly ignorant? Most of these comments are just this side of completely insane! How is it that you people are able to post comments so full of false, incorrect, ridiculous, and literally impossible, made-up statements, which you clearly believe to be true?! You’re on the actual, official website of the Social Security Administration, yet you make all these idiotic, inane statements that prove beyond the shadow of a doubt that you’ve never read one page on the site, and many of you appear not to have even read the article you’re commenting on…Instead you simply get to the end and start posting all your personal vitriol, ranting against a government agency that you know absolutely nothing – NOTHING AT ALL – about. Again, this is glaringly obvious from the ludicrous and sometimes even downright stupid things you say.

    One poster on another article stated, ” Social Security only hires immigrants who can’t speak English.” Seriously? And not a day goes by where at least one person (but more often, it’s dozens of posters) rails against people who are “too lazy to work so they fake disability to get my hard-earned tax dollars.” And always those who rant about “illegals” getting Social Security, welfare, etc., and complaining how they don’t feel their withheld dollars should go to anyone who “doesn’t deserve it,” which is everyone but them. Oddly though, every one of these people demands they receive their “Fair share,” complains about not getting enough, or not getting a “raise,” then proceed to blame Obama, the “liberals,” and/or the Democrats.

    Again, all of these people are proving, by their own posts and these astonishingly ignorant statements and beliefs, that they know absolutely nothing about Social Security, Meficare, Medicaid, disability, or even the most basic facts about how THEIR OWN GOVERNMENT works! Yet they feel perfectly comfortable attacking that same government for things that aren’t even possible, much less true, and, ironically, still feel entitled to all kinds of benefits and services that only government can provide to citizens – which, by the way, is the REASON and SOLE FUNCTION of government in the first place. You can read (comprehend what you read, not so sure, but you can read enough to post), so why not try to EDUCATE yourselves by READING some of the vast amount of useful information the government provides for your understanding of your own country.

    Everyone is always demanding their “rights” – but recognize that rights always, always, always come with RESPONSIBILITIES. It’s your responsibility as a citizen of the United States of America to be aware of what your country is, at the very leadt. And you will never, ever know if you rely on news, neighbors, talk show hosts, and politicians whose only interest is in keeping their cushy jobs instead of getting the ACTUAL information about your government from the source- the official government websotes, publucations, and information they make available to every one of us.

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