Typically, people start thinking about Social Security when they reach age 60. However, the fact is that many individuals may need SS benefits even before they retire. There are certain solid reasons why one should think about these federal benefits at an early age itself.
- Statistics show that around 33% of the present day 20-year-olds will become disabled before age 67 and may be eligible for disability benefits. The Administration pays 16% of the total benefits to disabled workers and their dependents, and 10% to survivors of deceased workers.
- Benefit amounts are calculated on the basis of a person’s complete work history and therefore it is important for young workers to ensure that they are getting proper credit each year for their SS benefits. To be eligible for the benefits, workers must earn at least 40 credits. The SSA considers a worker’s highest 35 years of earnings when calculating benefits.
- Some people may not be earning benefits. Workers such as those employed outside of the traditional system (working under the table) must understand that they will not be building up credits that count toward SS benefits. Other employees – state and local, and railroad workers who are covered by their own pension programs are excused from paying SS taxes. Therefore they too are not eligible for Social Security benefits.
Workers who become disabled before they reach retirement age can file a disability claim with the help of a lawyer. After reviewing the medical documentation, the lawyer will help claimants determine if they qualify for the benefits. Disability attorneys/lawyers submit claims to the SSA on behalf of their clients and also expedite the claim processing.