Social Security Information

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Social Security Information


What is Social Security?

Social Security is a social insurance program that provides old-age
benefits for retirees and their survivors, disability insurance for workers
and survivor benefits for dependants. It is called an entitlement because
congress has set eligibility criteria and if you meet the criteria, you are
entitled to the benefits.

As social insurance, the system does more than provide a base of income
for the retired worker; it consciously redistributes wealth to adjust for
other inequities in society and also provides financial relief to many who
might otherwise have to provide full support to ageing or disable relatives.

How is Social Security financed?

Social Security is financed by matching contributions from employers
and employees. Employees currently pay 6.2 percent of their earnings, up to a
maximum of $57,600 into two separate trust funds - - 5.6 percent goes into
the Old Age and Survivors Insurance (OASI) fund and 0.6 percent is funnelled
into the Disability Insurance Fund. Employers match this amount.

Hardly a day goes by that people getting Social Security aren't told by
some so-called expert that their benefits are gradually driving the federal
deficit and pushing America into a deep hole.

The nation's crushing debt burden will not ease, these thinkers insist,
until our lawmakers confront, and then tame, America's highly visible
entitlement programs, and by entitlements they make it clear they include
Social Security.

Social Security does many things. For the poorest and most vulnerable
elderly, it is their primary source of income. For many families facing
hardship following a death, disability or unanticipated retirement, the
program lightens their burden. Social Security also protects nine out of ten
workers and their families and provides benefits each month to more than
three million children.

But there is one think Social Security doesn't do. It does not
contribute to the continued growth of the federal budget deficit. Social
Security is totally self-funded, and its growing reserves - - another $60 billion
this year - - provide a stable financial base for current and future
retirees. Based on this up-to-date information we can put to rest any rumours
about the Social Security system going broke.

Some groups, many claiming to represent younger Americans, blame Social
Security and older people for the growing federal deficit. Not only is their
argument false and irresponsible, it is actually irrelevant to the debate.
Older Americans know that the fiscal and social deficits need to be addressed
but tinkering with Social Security is a touchy situation and definitely not
the way to ease the burden.

Everyone should be aware of the fact that information on Social
Security is readily available.
Dial (800) 772-1213 to reach a representative who can answer most questions.

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