Social Security: Your Taxes, Your Benefits Saginaw, Flint, Traverse City and Lansing, Michigan
For nearly 80 years, the social conscience of the nation has been embodied in the Social Security Administration (SSA). During the Great Depression we as a nation realized how every one of us is vulnerable to the uncertainties of our free market economy. In response, we created a number of institutions that allowed people down on their luck to get help without the stigma associated with begging, and chief among them is Social Security.
How Social Security Works
Every worker in this country pays social security taxes. These taxes are paid into Social Security Trust Funds and/or paid out as benefits. In general, Social Security receives more income from taxes than it pays out in benefits, with an overall surplus of about $2.5 trillion so far.
Although Social Security was originally intended only as a retirement fund, it has become more comprehensive, paying survivor benefits to spouses of workers and adding Social Security Disability Insurance for sick or injured workers.
As a result of Social Security, millions of people have been saved from relying on uncertain returns from investment accounts or the difficulty of throwing themselves on the mercy of charitable organizations.
Learn about Your Benefits
For a period of time, the SSA was mailing annual benefits statements to citizens about their income and potential benefits. Now, however, the SSA only mails statements to a select number of workers. Statements are mailed to workers at age 25, perhaps to stimulate retirement planning at an early age, and to people age 60 and older to help them plan for retirement.
Other people can go online to get their SSA benefits information. By logging in at www.ssa.gov/mystatement you can find out information about your Social Security taxes and estimated benefits based on retirement at different ages, from 62 to 72.
The Future of Social Security
In the past, there have only been 11 years in which receipts from taxes were less than benefits paid out, but there is concern that this may change.
Social Security remains a viable income supplement for disabled and retired persons. The retirement age has been raised from 65 to 67 and the government now encourages people to work to age 72 for increased benefits, in part because of the potential crisis faced by Social Security, which may only be able to pay 75 cents for every dollar of scheduled benefits in 2033, despite the past surpluses in revenue.
There are many possible solutions to this problem, and we encourage all people to look into the solutions and communicate with their Representative and Senator about the importance of this issue.
At Jay Trucks and Associates, we are dedicated to helping workers get the social security benefits they are due. If you have been denied disability benefits or are unsure how to apply, please contact us today for information.
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