Social Security is one of the most important government services in existence. The range of benefits available from the Social Security Administration have helped millions of people pay their bills and make ends meet in their times of greatest need.

We usually think of SSI as something we get when we retire, but the truth is, it goes so much further than that. Discover the various benefits available and how they work, including retirement, disability, survivor and dependent, with help from a Social Security lawyer.

Benefits from the SSA

The benefits you get from the government for retirement, disability and the like come from the Social Security Administration, or SSA. These benefits are in place to help people who for some reason can’t make ends meet with normal employment, or who have put in enough years to have reached a time in life when they are entitled to receive benefits.

The official name of this program is the OASDI, or Old Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance Program. The benefits available fall into four categories: retirement, disability, survivor and dependent benefits.

Retirement

Those who have worked for a certain number of years (usually at least ten years, in a job not working for the government), are entitled to receive retirement benefits under Social Security. These benefits can begin at age 62, but if you choose to hold off until the full retirement age of 65 or 67 (depending on your birth year), you will earn higher benefits. Likewise, if you wait until age 70, your benefits will increase even further.

Disability

Disability benefits can kick in if you get hurt in such a way that you are unable to hold down gainful employment. The SSA publishes specific rules as to what qualifies as a disabling condition, usually using medical guidelines under the American Medical Association or AMA. These benefits can range up to your full retirement benefits but vary based on your level of disability.

Dependents

If you’re the spouse of someone who has become disabled or retired and qualifies for benefits, you may also be able to collect benefits based on their earnings. Your minor children, if any, may also be entitled to these benefits. You can receive these benefits regardless of whether you rely on your spouse for financial support.

Survivors

Likewise, if you were married to someone who qualified for Social Security, and they pass away, you may be entitled to survivor’s benefits from the SSA. These benefits will also be based on the earnings record of your deceased spouse, and again, your minor children will also be entitled to such benefits.

Same-Sex Benefits and Social Security Lawyer

Under current laws following the Supreme Court’s recognition of same-sex marriage, same-sex couples are entitled to OASDI benefits, just as are intersex couples. However, there have been times when these and other people who are entitled to benefits have been denied.

It’s more common to be denied benefits, in fact, than you might think. If you are denied, it’s not necessarily the end of the road for you. You can challenge a denial, but you’ll need help from a Social Security lawyer. If you need help in this area, call the Tampa and Chicago attorneys at Disparti Law for help today.