With you through life's journey...
Social Security touches the lives of every American, both directly and indirectly. Social Security helps older Americans, workers who become disabled, wounded warriors, and families in which a spouse or parent dies.
Social Security is much more than a retirement program. With retirement, disability, and survivors benefits, we provide financial benefits that help improve the quality of life for millions throughout life's journey.
We’re with you from birth
Most parents apply for a child’s Social Security number at birth, usually through the hospital. When the time comes for that first job, the number is already in place.
A fun bonus of assigning Social Security numbers at birth is that we know the most popular baby names, which we announce each year.
We’re with you when you start work
Your employer verifies your Social Security number with us at every new job. Doing so helps reduce fraud and improves the accuracy of your earnings records.
Employers collect FICA, or Federal Insurance Contributions Act withholdings, and report earnings electronically. This is how we track your earnings and is how you earn Social Security retirement, disability, and survivors coverage for you and your family. A worker earns up to four Social Security credits each year and needs 40 credits, or 10 years of work, to qualify for retirement benefits.
We’re there for your wedding
Marriage is the start of a new chapter in your life. For some, a part of that new life is a new name.
If you legally change your name due to marriage, divorce, or any other reason, let us know so you can get an updated Social Security card — and so we can accurately keep track of your earnings. There’s no charge for a Social Security card.
We’re there to help if disability strikes
Isn’t it reassuring to know that Social Security is here to help even if the unexpected happens? One in four of today’s 20-year-olds will become disabled before they retire. Disability benefits provide modest coverage for severely disabled workers and their dependents, including our wounded warriors.
We’re there to provide comfort during difficult times
The loss of a loved one can be both emotionally and financially difficult. Some widows, widowers, and children may receive survivors benefits to help them cope with the financial loss.
The number of credits needed to provide benefits for survivors depends on the worker’s age when he or she dies.
Unmarried children who are under age 18 (up to age 19 if attending elementary or secondary school full time) can be eligible to receive Social Security benefits when a parent dies.
We wouldn’t miss your retirement party
When most people think of Social Security, they think of retirement benefits — with good reason. Social Security is a lifeline for most retirees, keeping tens of millions out of poverty. But we are more than retirement benefits; we offer many online tools to help you plan for your future.
You can count on us to be there
Social Security has two trust funds — Old-Age and Survivors Insurance (OASI) and Disability Insurance (DI). Historically, the OASI and DI Trust Funds have reached times where dedicated tax revenue fell short of the cost of providing benefits and also times where the trust funds have reached the brink of exhaustion of assets. However, Congress approved the Social Security Amendments of 1977 and 1983, which made substantial modifications that reversed the cash flow of the program to positive levels and caused the substantial buildup of assets that exists today.
Social Security has always changed to meet the needs of the people we serve and will continue to help support you and your family. Whether you are about to retire, become a full-time grandparent, or start a new chapter, Social Security can help you secure today and tomorrow.
To learn more about Social Security and our programs and services, go to ssa.gov, call 1-800-772-1213, or visit your local Social Security office.