Breaking Down Social Security Benefits with Michael Marks Elder Law Firm

One thing Michael Marks from Marks Elder law has noticed is that many of his clients do not have a full understanding of Social Security benefits. When many people think of Social Security, they immediately assume that these are benefits you can only collect once you retire. That is not the case. In fact, there are a number of different types of Social Security benefits that apply to a variety of situations. Here, Michael of Marks Elder Law breaks them down to give you a better understanding.

Retirement Benefits
The majority of people who receive Social Security benefits do so once they retire. These benefits are partially available once a person hits 62 years old and has worked enough to acquire eligibility. People retiring now can get their full retirement benefit at ag 66. The maximum of your retirement benefits is eligible to be received when you hit 70 years old. The amount of your benefit is based on the average of your earnings in your highest 35 years, but there is a cap on how much you can receive.

Disability Benefits
Social Security disability benefits are made available for people who have been working, but then become disabled and are no longer able to re-enter the workforce. The requirements for collecting disability benefits vary based on age, education, skills, etc. For those over the age of 24, the injury must be on a pre-approved list of impairments and/or accompanied by a severe medical condition. Many applicants are denied initially and have to appeal to win benefits.

Additionally, benefits are available for spouses and children of disabled workers, as long as the spouse is at least 62 and has a child under 16 or the child is disabled themselves.  A divorced spouse can also collect disabled benefits if they were married to the disabled worker for 10 years.

Survivor’s Benefits
Losing a loved one is hard and there is no amount of financial support that can make that easier. However, the Social Security Administration sometimes pays a modest one-time payout to the spouse or child of the deceased worker. Ongoing benefits are available if the widow/widower is at least 60 years old, disabled and at least 50, or if they are the parent of the young child, disabled or not.

Supplemental Security Benefits
Finally, Supplemental Social Security benefits are a special category of Social Security, available to help those who are 65 and older, blind, disabled, and have very limited income and assets.