Social Security payments are for older people, people with disabilities and dependents of deceased workers. While all Americans who have earned enough Social Security credits and reach the age of 62 or more are entitled to their benefits, some people qualify for other reasons.
Most workers in America contribute 6.2 percent of their income into the Social Security program, and the employer matches this amount. If someone does not reach retirement age (which varies based on the birth year) they or their dependents are still entitled to those benefits. The amount of benefits is based on the 35 highest earning years of the worker's past. The more a person contributes and the longer that they work, the higher the payment amount.