Social Security Administration (SSA)

Last Updated: January 2, 2022

Written by the Open Caregiving Team. Editorial review by Joyce O. Murphy RN, MSN.

What does the Social Security Administration do?

The Social Security Administration (SSA) offers 3 types of social security benefits including:

  1. Help for Americans who are retiring. These are called Social Security Retirement Benefits.
  2. Help for workers who become disabled. This benefit is called Social Security Disability Insurance(SSDI) .
  3. Help for families whose main wage-earner has passed. These are called Social Security Survivors Benefits.

The SSA also administers the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program. This is for people who are aging, blind, and disabled, and do not get benefits from the other kinds of Social Security.

How the Social Security Administration helps caregivers

  • Social Security is a vital program for workers who are retired, disabled, or have surviving spouses and children. It gives them benefits to help them pay living expenses.
  • Be aware that there are penalties for collecting Social Security early. If you begin to collect them before full retirement age you get less per month. Some people wait until they’re 70 to collect benefits, getting more each month than if they started collecting earlier.
  • You must be a US citizen, a naturalized citizen, and live in the US.
  • If you are not eligible for Social Security Benefits because you or your deceased family member did not pay Social Security taxes for 10 years or more, you may be eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

How do I contact the Social Security Administration?

You can contact the Social Security Administration by:

How do I manage my Social Security benefits?

You can manage most Social Security, Medicare, Disability, Retirement and SSI Services by creating a mySocialSecurity account.

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