What Are SSA Benefits?

SSA benefits are benefits that are provided to individuals by the Social Security Administration, including retirement, disability and survivor benefits. These benefits are afforded to someone when he retires, becomes disabled, or when the spouse or parent of a dependant dies.

The Social Security Administration was established through the Social Security Act of 1935 by President Franklin Roosevelt. It was funded by the Federal Emergency Relief Administration and began collecting payroll taxes in 1937. When a person is employed, a portion of his wages is collected by Social Security and saved for a time when that person is no longer able to work. Disabled and retired workers, along with their spouses and children and other survivors, are eligible to receive SSA benefits. The amount received is dependent upon how many income credits were earned during the time the person was still working.

Some people are required to pay federal income taxes on their Social Security benefits. This usually occurs when the person is collecting other substantial income in addition to his SSA benefits, such as dividends, wages, interest, self-employment or other taxable income that must be reported on an income tax return. Quarterly tax payments can be made if it’s determined taxes are due.