Social Security

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Social Security

A program of the United States federal government that provides income to disabled and (especially) elderly people. That is, persons who have paid into the Social Security system for a certain period of time are eligible to receive what amounts to a government pension in retirement or in the event of disability. It is paid out of the Social Security trust fund and is financed through FICA taxes. Because Social Security is the single largest expense of the federal budget, periodic attempts are made to wholly or partly privatize Social Security, though opponents claim that doing so would make the American social safety net less secure. See also: SSI, TANF, SCHIP.

Social Security.

Social Security is a federal government program designed to provide income for qualifying retired people, their dependents, and disabled people who meet the Social Security test for disability.

You qualify for retirement benefits if you have had at least the minimum required payroll tax withheld from your wages for 40 quarters, the equivalent of 10 years.

The minimum for each quarter is set by Congress and increases slightly each year. You earn credits toward disability coverage in the same way.

The amount you receive in Social Security retirement benefits, up to the annual cap, is determined by the payroll taxes you paid during your working life, which were matched by an equal tax paid by your employers. Some of your benefit may be subject to income tax if your income plus half your benefit is higher than the ceiling Congress sets.

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