The three main components of the Social Security system

Social Security emerged from the Great Depression and began in 1935 after the economic crisis, according to Nelson H. Cruikshank, Counselor to the President on Aging, in a 1978 speech on the history of Social Security. The Social Security system has three main components that respond to the needs of the millions of Americans who are aging or have survived their loved ones, who cannot meet the basic needs of food and housing, or who have disabilities.

Retirement and survivors insurance

Retirement insurance and survivor insurance are separate, with different qualifications and benefits, but the concept is one as a whole. Those who pay Social Security retirement are entitled to retirement benefits if they meet the requirements of age and years of work. The minimum age to receive these benefits is 62 years, and in 2010, the full retirement age is 66 or 67. Similarly, a survivor may be entitled to income, depending on the deceased person’s work history. Individuals who qualify for survivor benefits are children under age, spouses, divorced spouses, and parents who depended on the deceased.

Disability insurance

Disability insurance is available to those who meet the definition of disability within this component of Social Security. The disability must last one year or be expected to result in death, with special rules for legally blind people. Work history determines disability benefits, and if you can do any type of work, Social Security rules prevent you from receiving disability benefits. Disability is the only coverage that can be classified as disability insurance or Supplemental Security Income. Also, if you receive disability payments, once you reach retirement age, the benefits will be converted to retirement benefits.

Supplemental Security Income

The Supplemental Security Income, or SSI, covers some disabled, blind or senile people who do not qualify for retirement or disability, according to their work history. Disabled or blind children can also receive SSI. Those who qualify have limited income and resources, and generally qualify for pantry vouchers in the state in which they live, as reported on the Social Security website. The resource limits are US $ 2,000 for a child or an individual, and US $ 3,000 for a couple, and resources include cash, vehicles, land and anything else on your property that could be translated into food or shelter. The definition of income includes free food and shelter, but excludes certain earnings and income and the value of the pantry vouchers, according to the SSI information on the Social Security website. The federal SSI benefit in 2010 was US $ 674 per month, and most states provide a supplement to this amount.