Man Holding Nest With Golden Eggs And Social Security CardApril is National Social Security Month, making this is a good time to understand the ins and outs of Social Security.

Many people know the Social Security Administration (SSA) is a federal program providing benefits to people who are retired or disabled. But you may not be aware of the many resources the SSA offers the public on its website.

Let’s start with the history of the program’s best known feature, the Social Security Number (SSN).

Building a benefits program

The U.S. government passed the Social Security Act in 1935, during the Great Depression. Social Security would serve as a safety net for retirees, victims of industrial accidents, the unemployed, mothers and children who lost the family’s head of household income, and the disabled.

The government needed a way to pinpoint individuals eligible for Social Security benefits, and at what levels. In 1936, the SSN was created as a unique identifier. (The nine-digit format developed back then is the same one we use now.)

Under the provisions of the Act, in 1937, employers would begin deducting payroll taxes from employees’ wages and tracking their earnings. An infrastructure needed to be built to generate and manage data on tens of millions of people.

It took a lot of work to get a program of this size and scope up and running on such a short timeline. Thousands of SSA employees had to be hired, offices set up and the public educated about the new program.

Many thought it would be impossible to achieve. However, despite some setbacks, our nation’s leaders made it happen. Using individuals’ SSNs, employers began submitting reports to help federal officials determine who should receive benefits, and to what extent.
From there, the program evolved into what it is today.

Estimating your Social Security benefits

If you are still working, you might be wondering what your retirement benefits from the program will be. The SSA website features a Retirement Estimator for just this purpose.

While the Social Security Administration cannot give you an exact figure until you actually begin collecting benefits, this tool can assist you in sizing up what you will receive when the time comes. To use the Retirement Estimator, you must have enough Social Security credits to qualify for benefits and meet a few other conditions.

Individuals who cannot use the Retirement Estimator, or who would like to determine disability or survivor benefits, might find other calculators on the SSA website helpful.

My Social Security account

Aside from the retirement tools available publicly on the SSA website, consumers also have the opportunity to set up a personal digital account to help prepare for retirement with my Social Security. As you can imagine, there are steps included in the process to make your account secure.

With my Social Security, individuals can view their earnings history, determine if they have enough work credits to retire, and check out their estimated future benefits based on what they are earning today.

If you are already collecting benefits, my Social Security is a tool to manage them, check the status of any appeals you have filed or claims you have submitted, request a replacement Social Security card, and more.

Individuals must furnish their own personal information to establish an account. You may not open one for, or use an account belonging to, someone else under any circumstances. Likewise, you cannot share your account with others.

Doing any of these things may be seen as an attempt on your part to misrepresent your identity. This could subject you to civil penalties, criminal penalties, or both.

Tapping into resources

Throughout the year, the SSA website provides a comprehensive source of information about the workings of the Social Security program.

Learning your way around the site and establishing your my Social Security account will let you manage your benefits when the time comes to retire, and to prepare for retirement even if that day is years away.

If you are planning for your post-working years, or are approaching age 65 and your eligibility for Medicare, AmeriLife can help. Connect with an agent.

Create an Account to Review Your Earnings History, Retirement Credits and More During National Social Security MonthMan Holding Nest With Golden Eggs And Social Security CardApril is National Social Security Month, making this is a good time to understand the ins and outs of Social Security.

Many people know the Social Security Administration (SSA) is a federal program providing benefits to people who are retired or disabled. But you may not be aware of the many resources the SSA offers the public on its website.

Let’s start with the history of the program’s best known feature, the Social Security Number (SSN).

Building a benefits program

The U.S. government passed the Social Security Act in 1935, during the Great Depression. Social Security would serve as a safety net for retirees, victims of industrial accidents, the unemployed, mothers and children who lost the family’s head of household income, and the disabled.

The government needed a way to pinpoint individuals eligible for Social Security benefits, and at what levels. In 1936, the SSN was created as a unique identifier. (The nine-digit format developed back then is the same one we use now.)

Under the provisions of the Act, in 1937, employers would begin deducting payroll taxes from employees’ wages and tracking their earnings. An infrastructure needed to be built to generate and manage data on tens of millions of people.

It took a lot of work to get a program of this size and scope up and running on such a short timeline. Thousands of SSA employees had to be hired, offices set up and the public educated about the new program.

Many thought it would be impossible to achieve. However, despite some setbacks, our nation’s leaders made it happen. Using individuals’ SSNs, employers began submitting reports to help federal officials determine who should receive benefits, and to what extent.
From there, the program evolved into what it is today.

Estimating your Social Security benefits

If you are still working, you might be wondering what your retirement benefits from the program will be. The SSA website features a Retirement Estimator for just this purpose.

While the Social Security Administration cannot give you an exact figure until you actually begin collecting benefits, this tool can assist you in sizing up what you will receive when the time comes. To use the Retirement Estimator, you must have enough Social Security credits to qualify for benefits and meet a few other conditions.

Individuals who cannot use the Retirement Estimator, or who would like to determine disability or survivor benefits, might find other calculators on the SSA website helpful.

My Social Security account

Aside from the retirement tools available publicly on the SSA website, consumers also have the opportunity to set up a personal digital account to help prepare for retirement with my Social Security. As you can imagine, there are steps included in the process to make your account secure.

With my Social Security, individuals can view their earnings history, determine if they have enough work credits to retire, and check out their estimated future benefits based on what they are earning today.

If you are already collecting benefits, my Social Security is a tool to manage them, check the status of any appeals you have filed or claims you have submitted, request a replacement Social Security card, and more.

Individuals must furnish their own personal information to establish an account. You may not open one for, or use an account belonging to, someone else under any circumstances. Likewise, you cannot share your account with others.

Doing any of these things may be seen as an attempt on your part to misrepresent your identity. This could subject you to civil penalties, criminal penalties, or both.

Tapping into resources

Throughout the year, the SSA website provides a comprehensive source of information about the workings of the Social Security program.

Learning your way around the site and establishing your my Social Security account will let you manage your benefits when the time comes to retire, and to prepare for retirement even if that day is years away.

If you are planning for your post-working years, or are approaching age 65 and your eligibility for Medicare, AmeriLife can help. Connect with an agent.

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