Social Security is a federal insurance program that provides benefits in the event of retirement, disability, or death. These benefits are payable to a worker, an eligible spouse of a worker, or the eligible child of a worker.
In the United States, the program is administered by the Social Security Administration.
The Social Security system has evolved since its birth in 1935. Originally, it was only a retirement program and was intended to provide a safety net against poverty in retirement. In 1939 the law was changed to add survivors benefits and benefits for the retiree’s spouse and children. In 1956 disability benefits were added.
To qualify for any of these benefits, the Social Security Administration requires you to earn a certain number of credits. In 2020, you receive one credit for each $1,410 in earnings. You can earn a maximum of four credits per year. Most of the programs required 40 credits or 10 years of work.
To read more on the credits required to earn a social security benefit, read my article The 4 Types of Social Security Credits.