Some of the functions of the Social Security Administration include overseeing two of the largest disability programs in the United States as well as the Medicare program. The Administration also oversees the Social Security retirement benefit program.
The disability programs help to provide income to individuals who are disabled and unable to attain a substantial income. Social Security Disability is an earned benefit based on a worker's previous working income and taxes paid into the Social Security system.
The other program, Social Security Supplemental Income, is not based on a worker's previous record and is a means-tested benefit reserved for those who meet the medical and income requirements. Medicare is a health benefit for those who are already receiving disability benefits from the Social Security Administration. Premiums for Medicare are based on income.
The Social Security retirement benefit program is available to individuals who meet the different levels of retirement age requirements. An individual pays into the system through payroll taxes paid during his employment, and after the person reaches his retirement age, he can collect Social Security retirement benefits. The amount of benefits he collects are based on the age at which the worker retires as well as how much the worker paid into the system during his employment years.