Chapter 2

A Breakdown of Benefits

In This Chapter

arrow Getting Social Security retirement benefits

arrow Surviving the death of a loved one with help from Social Security

arrow Relying on Social Security when you can’t work

arrow Seeing how Social Security protects the poorest of the poor

When you hear about Social Security in the news, it seems like the talk is always about politics. Of course, that matters, but the squabbling in Washington can sound pretty far removed from what really links you to Social Security — the benefits for you and your loved ones. The truth is, many people don’t know all they’re paying for when it comes to Social Security.

In this chapter, I provide a detailed description of the main Social Security benefits: coverage for retirement and a retiree’s dependent family members, protections for surviving family members when a loved one dies, and coverage for disability and a disabled worker’s dependents. In addition, I go over the program of Supplemental Security Income (SSI) for individuals with extremely little income, which is also administered by the Social Security Administration ...

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