SSA provides benefits to workers, their families, and their dependents. It also protects workers against losing their earned income due to disability, death, or retirement.

Real wage growth has slowed dramatically since the mid-1970s, creating an impending Social Security insolvency that will require a significant increase in taxes or benefit cuts.


The Social Security Administration provides a variety of benefits to the nation’s most vulnerable citizens. Some of these include retirement, disability, survivor’s and children’s benefits. Other programs include medical assistance and food stamps. SSA also has a program to assist homeless individuals and families with their basic needs.

SSI, or Supplemental Security Income, is similar to Social Security in that it is paid to disabled beneficiaries who have little or no income and resources. The SSI benefit is not based on your or a family member’s prior work and SSA does not collect FICA or SECA taxes for this program. Unlike Social Security, most States provide a supplemental payment to SSI recipients. In 2022, 4 in 10 older adults would live below the poverty line without Social Security, and SSA lifts millions of them above that line.

Some libertarians oppose the redistributive aspect of Social Security and argue that elected officials cannot be trusted to make wise judgments about how to allocate earnings between consumption during a worker’s career and savings for retirement. They are skeptical that separating the redistributive and the saving components of Social Security will enhance the popularity or sustainability of the public component. They fear that explicit separation will result in the public component being stigmatized as welfare. They are also skeptical that private alternatives can provide the same level of redistribution as Social Security.


Whether or not you qualify for future benefits, your work pays Social Security payroll taxes. The earnings on which you pay these taxes are reflected in your personal Social Security Statement. This statement provides year-by-year earnings information and estimates of retirement, survivors and disability benefits you and your family will receive now and in the future.

You can get a free my Social Security account to track your earnings and other SSA-related information. With this account, you can also check the status of your claim, enter your direct deposit information and receive a letter containing proof of your benefits that you can use at work or other places. My Social Security is available for SSI recipients, deemors and their representative payees as well as SSDI beneficiaries.

Rapid growth in real wages produces a decent rate of return for the Social Security Trust Fund. This fact is why the reduction of poverty historically has been a central goal of Social Security, rather than income maintenance. However, libertarians who oppose the redistribution of workers’ earnings toward retirement savings would argue that the same average rate of return can be obtained from private retirement accounts without the burden of government intervention and redistribution. They also argue that individual workers can make better judgments than public officials about the proper division of earnings between consumption now and in old age, assuming that they are willing to save sufficient amounts to ensure their future welfare.


The Social Security Administration (SSA) processes disability, retirement, and survivorship claims. Most disability applications are initially processed through a network of local field offices and State agencies called Disability Determination Services (DDSs). A claimant’s nonmedical eligibility is verified first, then the DDS makes a disability determination. If the determination is that the individual is disabled, SSA completes any outstanding non-disability development and pays benefits. Individuals who disagree with the initial disability determination may file an appeal.

The first step in the appeals process is a review of the case at the reconsideration level by an adjudicative team that was not involved in the original determination. If the claimant is dissatisfied with the reconsideration decision, he or she may request a hearing before an administrative law judge.

The Freedom of Information Act and the Privacy Act grant individuals certain rights to access records held by Federal agencies. However, SSA screens all requests to see medical evidence in a claim file to determine whether release of the information would harm the claimant or his or her family and friends. If the medical evidence is determined to have an adverse effect, SSA will only release the evidence to a representative selected by the claimant or his or her family. Then, the representative must sign a consent form to allow the individual to see the medical evidence in his or her file.


A person who disagrees with a decision from Social Security may appeal that decision in one of three ways. The first way is to file a request for reconsideration. There is no charge for filing a request for reconsideration, and most applicants can do this at their local Social Security office. There is an office in every state, and the benefits denial letter will list the nearest one.

In most cases, a person who files a request for reconsideration will receive a new decision within 60 days of filing the request. If the reconsideration decision is not favorable, a person may continue to the next step by requesting a hearing with an administrative law judge.

A hearing before an ALJ is held in most cases, and the ALJ will hear testimony from the applicant, the representative and any witnesses. The ALJ may also ask questions of medical and vocational experts. The ALJ will make a ruling on your claim within 90 days of the date of the hearing.

SSA can pay travel costs for you and your representative to attend the hearing, but only if it is determined that the expenses are unexpected and unavoidable. The ALJ will send you a notice of the date, time and place of the hearing at least 20 days before it occurs. ביטוח לאומי אזור אישי