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Social Security: What Benefits Are Available?

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Social Security is something of a mystery to many people, a kind of benefit that everyone knows is there, but that some people collect and other people wonder if they’ll ever be eligible to receive. It’s something we all pay into, but which few of us really understand.

Whether it’s retirement income or benefits for disability, many people wonder what benefits they can collect, and how. Learn the benefits that are available under Social Security and how a dedicated and experienced Social Security lawyer can ensure you collect these benefits.

Retirement Benefits

The most obvious benefit available under Social Security, and the one with which the most people are familiar is that of retirement income. Those who have worked under covered employment (who have paid income tax at a non-governmental position) for enough years, can begin to collect Social Security retirement benefits when they reach 62 years of age. Usually, this requires at least ten years of employment.

If you wait until age 65 or 67 (depending on your birth year) you can collect additional benefits and higher monthly payments. Waiting until age 70 will increase your payments further.

Disability Benefits

The second-most common benefits people receive from Social Security is a regular payout for disability reasons. If you become injured to the point where you can’t work, SSDI, or Social Security Disability Income, can kick in to help offset your losses. The amount of these benefits can range from a few hundred dollars a week to the full amount of retirement benefits, depending on your injury and condition.

Dependent Benefits

If you are the spouse of someone who becomes eligible for disability benefits or retirement benefits, both you and any disabled or minor children you have may be qualified to receive benefits from Social Security based on the earnings of the worker. Though called “Dependent’s Benefits,” you do not need to technically be dependent upon your spouse to collect these benefits.

Survivor Benefits

Survivor’s benefits are those payouts from Social Security that are intended to help surviving spouses and minor or disabled children of those who die and were qualified for Social Security benefits. The benefits paid out to the survivors are dependent upon the earnings record of the deceased spouse or parent.

Same-Sex Spouses and Benefits

As the Supreme Court of the United States recognized the right of same-sex couples to marry, these couples are eligible for Social Security benefits just as intersex couples are.

Hiring a Social Security Lawyer

It is not uncommon, unfortunately, for benefits to be denied upon the first application. The SSA works hard to prevent fraud, but this, unfortunately, results in many deserving people missing out on needed benefits. If you are dealing with a confusing application for benefits, or the need to appeal a denial, your best bet is to seek help from a qualified Social Security lawyer.

In Florida, the dedicated and experienced Social Security attorneys at Harris and Graves may be able to help with your Social Security benefits needs. Give us a call today and let’s talk about your case and how we can help.