How Do You Qualify for a Social Security Benefit Check?


Quick Answer

The Social Security Administration issues benefit checks to several different types of qualifying recipients. Retired workers can receive benefits if they are 62 years old or older, though only if they worked enough in their lives to achieve insured status with the SSA.

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Full Answer

Whatever their age, partially or fully disabled workers can receive benefits if they have accumulated enough work credits with the SSA. Children of deceased or disabled workers can qualify for Social Security checks. If 62 or older, spouses of retired workers can receive benefits. Younger spouses can qualify if they care for children under the age of 16 or if they care for disabled children. Widows and widowers of deceased workers can qualify for Social Security payments. In some cases, dependent parents of deceased workers are also eligible.

Many people mistakenly conflate Social Security Disability Income with Supplemental Insurance Income. Administered by the SSA, SSI distributes funds to blind, disabled and elderly people who have not worked enough to qualify for ordinary Social Security benefits.

Social Security benefit payments were initiated in 1935 with the passage of the Social Security Act. The creation of the Social Security system was one of the most prominent parts of President Franklin Roosevelt's historic economic and political reforms.

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