Social Security: Some basic questions
you need to have answered.
QUESTION: Can you tell me what the average Social Security benefit
ANSWER: For 2005, the average monthly Social Security benefits are
as follows: retired worker, $955; retired couple, $1,574; disabled
worker, $895; disabled worker with a spouse and child, $1,497;
widow(er), $920; widow(er) with two children, $1,979. ***
QUESTION: I am going to school and working part time. Does part-time
work count for Social Security benefits?
ANSWER:Yes, part-time work does count for Social Security benefits.
As you work and pay taxes, you earn Social Security "credits." In
2005, you earn one credit for each $920 in earnings -- up to a
maximum of four credits per year. (The amount of money needed to
earn one credit goes up every year.) The most you would need to
qualify for any type of Social Security benefit is 40 credits (10
years of work). Also, younger people need fewer credits to be
eligible for disability benefits or for their family members to be
eligible for survivors' benefits if they die. ***
QUESTION: I am 66 years old and planning to retire. Once I retire,
how long will I have to wait before I get a check and be able to pay
my monthly bills?
ANSWER: First, it is important that you know that Social Security
benefits are not automatic. To receive benefits, a person must apply
for them. Social Security generally recommends that people apply for
retirement benefits about three months before they want benefit
payments to start. Social Security benefits are paid in the month
following the month for which they are due. For example, if your
first month of entitlement is August, you would receive your first
Social Security benefit payment in September.