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United States Government Social Security

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What Is A Social Security Card

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Your Social Security card is an important piece of identification. You’ll need one to get a job, collect Social Security, or receive other government benefits.

When you apply for a Social Security number , the Social Security Administration will assign you a nine-digit number. This is the same number that is printed on the Social Security card that SSA will issue you. If you change your name, you will need to get a corrected card.

Social Security Number Theft

Because Social Security Numbers have become useful in identity theft and other forms of crime, various schemes have been perpetrated to acquire valid Social Security Numbers and related identity information.

In February 2006, the Social Security Administration received several reports of an email message being circulated addressed to “Dear Social Security Number And Card owner” and purporting to be from the Social Security Administration. The message informs the reader “that someone illegally is using your Social Security number and assuming your identity” and directs the reader to a website designed to look like Social Security’s Internet website.

“I am outraged that someone would target an unsuspecting public in this manner,” said Commissioner Jo Anne B. Barnhart. “I have asked the Inspector General to use all the resources at his command to find and prosecute whoever is perpetrating this fraud.”

Once directed to the phony website, the individual is reportedly asked to confirm his or her identity with “Social Security and bank information”. Specific information about the individual’s credit card number, expiration date and is then requested. “Whether on our online website or by phone, Social Security will never ask you for your credit card information or your PIN,” Commissioner Jo Anne B. Barnhart reported.

Private Retirement Savings Crisis

While inflation-adjusted stock market values generally rose from 1978 to 1997, from 1998 through 2007 they were higher than in March 2013. This has caused workers’ supplemental retirement plans such as 401s to perform substantially more poorly than expected when current retirees were investing the bulk of their savings in them. In 2010, the median household retirement account balance for workers aged 55 to 64 was $120,000, which will provide only a trivial supplement to Social Security benefits, but about a third of households had no retirement savings at all. 75% of Americans nearing retirement age had less than $30,000 in their retirement accounts, which Forbes called “the greatest retirement crisis in American history.”

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Tax On Wages And Self

Benefits are funded by taxes imposed on wages of employees and self-employed persons. As explained below, in the case of employment, the employer and employee are each responsible for one half of the Social Security tax, with the employee’s half being withheld from the employee’s pay check. In the case of self-employed persons , the self-employed person is responsible for the entire amount of Social Security tax.

The portion of taxes collected from the employee for Social Security are referred to as “trust fund taxes” and the employer is required to remit them to the government. These taxes take priority over everything, and represent the only debts of a corporation or LLC that can impose personal liability upon its officers or managers. A sole proprietor and officers of a corporation and managers of an LLC can be held personally liable for non-payment of the income tax and social security taxes whether or not actually collected from the employee.

A separate payroll tax of 1.45% of an employee’s income is paid directly by the employer, and an additional 1.45% deducted from the employee’s paycheck, yielding a total tax rate of 2.90%. There is no maximum limit on this portion of the tax. This portion of the tax is used to fund the Medicare program, which is primarily responsible for providing health benefits to retirees.

The Social Security tax rates from 19372010 can be accessed on the Social Security Administration‘s website.

Wages not subject to tax

Get Ssa Benefits While Living Abroad

Social Security disability  How to apply and Conditions » Applications ...

U.S. citizens can travel to or live in most, but not all, foreign countries and still receive their Social Security benefits. You can find out if you can receive benefits overseas by using the Social Security Administrations payment verification tool. Once you access the tool, pick the country you’re visiting or living in from the drop-down menu options.

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Whom Does Social Insurance Benefit


Eligibility varies widely for programs depending on a programs goals, target population, and administration. The target population might be people with work records, current workers, children, families with children, people with disabilities, people who are age 65 and older, people with low incomes, pregnant or nursing women, or some combination of these groups.

Applicants to programs such as Social Security, Medicare, and UI need work records of varying lengths to qualify. These programs do not have an income eligibility limit and are often referred to as universal, though they do require a specified number of quarters or years of paid employment. A few programs require a beneficiary to have earned income the EITC is a leading example. Other programs require incurring a particular type of expense, such as child-care costs.

Various programs also set other eligibility conditions or restrictions. UI requires beneficiaries to search for jobs. For TANF participants and some SNAP and housing assistance participants, time limits are imposed on participation unless they are meeting a work requirement. For SNAP, states can secure waivers from this time limit for areas with elevated unemployment and can provide individual exemptions. Several other programs allow states to restrict eligibility further, to exclude people such as ex-felons or people found to be using banned substances.

Eligibility among Immigrants

Participation and Take Up


Claim Of Discrimination Against The Poor And The Middle Class

Workers must pay 12.4 percent, including a 6.2 percent employer contribution, on their wages below the Social Security Wage Base , but no tax on income in excess of this amount. Therefore, high earners pay a lower percentage of their total income because of the income caps because of this, and the fact there is no tax on unearned income, social security taxes are often viewed as being regressive. However, benefits are adjusted to be significantly more progressive, even when accounting for differences in life expectancy. According to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, for people in the bottom fifth of the earnings distribution, the ratio of benefits to taxes is almost three times as high as it is for those in the top fifth.

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How Is Social Insurance Provided By The Government

How government delivers social insurance depends first on what level of government provides the funding for a program, delivers the benefits, and sets the rules for who qualifies and how much they receive. Another key dimension is whether a program is delivered on an entitlement basis, under which all eligible individuals or households who apply must receive the benefit, or whether the program provides benefits only to as many people as its appropriated funding for the year allows, with other people who apply being put on waiting lists or turned away despite meeting the eligibility criteria.

The determination of whether a program operates as an entitlement also has implications for a third key issuethe degree to which programs expand automatically in recessions. While policymakers have regularly stepped in to expand the social insurance system in certain ways during economic downturns, certain programs expand and contract automaticallyto serve more or fewer peopleas need increases or subsides. By expanding during recessions to provide relief to people whose incomes have declined, the automatic stabilizer feature of these programs helps to support households purchasing power when the economy falters.

The Roles of Different Levels of Government

Differences between Entitlements and Discretionary Programs

Responding to Recessions

Program Size and Growth

How Does Social Insurance Affect Poverty And Income Inequality

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Many social insurance programs are targeted by income. To qualify for most of those programs, individuals, households, or families need to have income below a specified level, often a multiple of a threshold known as the poverty line. The income limits for the programs vary, often being set somewhere between from 100 percent and 300 or 400 percent of the poverty line. The US Department of Health and Human Services issues the poverty-line thresholds used in determining eligibility for these programs and updates the thresholds each year, adjusting for inflation. In some of these programs the federal government sets the income limit in other programs the states do, often within federal guidelines. Other social insurance programs do not have an income limit typically, those programswhich include Social Security, Medicare, and UIrequire a past earnings record of a specified duration.

Poverty and Social Insurance

Another way to track the increased anti-poverty effectiveness of social insurance is to examine what percentage of people who are poor before social insurance are lifted above the poverty line by it. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities has shown that in the late 1960s, government benefits and taxes lifted out of poverty approximately 5 percent of those who would otherwise be poor, while by 2019, benefits and taxes lifted out of poverty about 48 percent of those who would otherwise be poor.

Poverty and Race

Income Inequality and Social Insurance

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How Do Benefits Work And How Can I Qualify

While you work, you pay Social Security taxes. This tax money goes into a trust fund that pays benefits to:

  • Those who are currently retired
  • To people with disabilities
  • To the surviving spouses and children of workers who have died

Each year you work, youll get credits to help you become eligible for benefits when its time for you to retire. Find all the benefits Social Security Administration offers.

There are four main types of benefits that the SSA offers:

  • Learn about earning limits if you plan to work while receiving Social Security benefits

A Exception For Disclosures Required By Federal Statute

Federal, state, and local agencies may deny an individual a right, benefit, or privilege provided by law because of such individuals refusal to disclose the individuals social security number if the disclosure is required by federal statute.

A key statute that requires the disclosure of social security numbers is the Social Security Act , which expressly permits a state agency to use social security numbers for the purpose of identifying individuals in the administration of any tax, general public assistance, drivers license, or motor vehicle registration law within its jurisdiction, see 42 U.S.C. § 405 . The SSA also permits a state agency to use social security numbers to issue birth certificates and to enforce child support orders, the Secretary of Agriculture to use social security numbers in administering the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008, and the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation to use them in administering the Federal Crop Insurance Act. See 42 U.S.C. §§ 405, , , .

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Us Embassy In Honduras

  • Nonimmigrant Visas
  • For travel to the United States on a temporary basis, including tourism, temporary employment, study and exchange.

  • Visa Waiver Program
  • The Visa Waiver Program allows citizens of participating countries* to travel to the United States without a visa for stays of 90 days or less, when they meet all requirements.

  • U.S. Citizens with emergencies, please call Tel: 2238-5114

    Outside of Office Hours, contact: Tel: 2238-5114

    Outside of Honduras: Tel: +001 2238-5114

  • Education & Culture
  • Study in the U.S.A.
  • Learn more about quality higher-education opportunities in the U.S. that you will not find anywhere else in the world.

  • If you reside in Honduras and have questions regarding services provided by the Social Security Administration , you must contact the SSA Federal Benefits Unit located in San Jose, Costa Rica. For more information on their services and how to contact them, please visit their webpage at: US Embassy in Costa Rica

    For comprehensive information on SSAs services abroad, please visit SSAs webpage Service Around the World.

    If you are already receiving SSA benefits payments, there will be no change in the method of distribution of those payments.

    Restrictions On Potentially Deceptive Communications

    Official website of the U.S. Social Security Administration.

    Because of the importance of Social Security to millions of Americans, many direct-mail marketers packaged their mailings to resemble official communications from the Social Security Administration, hoping recipients would be more likely to open them. In response, Congress amended the Social Security Act in 1988 to prohibit the private use of the phrase “Social Security” and several related terms in any way that would convey a false impression of approval from the Social Security Administration. The constitutionality of this law was upheld in United Seniors Association, Inc. v. Social Security Administration, 423 F.3d 397 , cert den 547 U.S. 1162 126 S.Ct. 2346 .

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    How To Get A Social Security Card

  • Gather your documents. Learn what documents you’ll need to get a card. Select your situation:
  • Original, replacement, or corrected card
  • U.S. born citizen, foreign-born U.S. citizen, or noncitizen
  • Apply online for a replacement card. Apply online if youre not changing anything on your card and you are eligible. This option is available in most states. You will need to make a my Social Security account first. Or complete an application. If you can not apply online, fill out an application and return it to the SSA. Find out where to take it in person or mail it.
  • The Rationale For Social Security

    Because general social security schemes based on compulsory insurance did not come into being until the last two decades of the 19th century, it has often been argued that social security in its modern form has been a response to industrialization, which caused large numbers of people to become dependent for their security solely on earnings from employment. Indeed many families became dependent on one male earner and thus on his capacity to find work, to undertake it, and to remain in it. Moreover, industrialization led to the migration of people toward centres of work, thus separating them from the support given by the wider family. In addition, the development of compulsory education prolonged the period during which children were dependent on their parents later the system of enforced retirement created dependency at the other end of life. This situation is contrasted with an often idealized image of the extended rural family with access to land, on which both husband and wife worked, children started work early, and old people continued to work until they became too frail or disabled to do so. On the basis of this oversimplification, some theorists have proposed that social security developed out of a need peculiar to industrial societies and that there is less need or no need for social security programs in the rural areas of developing countries today.

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    How Long Will You Live In Retirement

    Based on current estimates, a 65 year old man can expect to live approximately 18 years in retirement, and a 65 year old woman can expect to live about 20 years, but many people live longer. Planning to live well into your 90s can help you avoid outliving your income.

    The worksheet takes into account some factors that impact your retirement savings. First, investing – because it involves risk. Second, inflation – because todays dollars will usually buy less each year as the cost of living rises. Your target savings rate includes any contributions your employer makes to a retirement savings plan for you, such as an employer matching contribution. If, for example, you are in a 401 plan in which you contribute 4 percent of your salary and your employer also contributes 4 percent, your saving rate would be 8 percent of your salary.

    If you are not currently saving this amount, dont be discouraged. The important thing is to start saving even a small amount and increase that amount when you can. Come back and update this worksheet from time to time to reflect changes and track your progress.

    Here are a few tips on how to save smart for retirement:

    To track other resources you may have in retirement, start by getting your Social Security statement and an estimate of your retirement benefits on the Social Security Administrations website,

    Get started today for a secure financial future!

    Activity One Group B: Debating The Social Security Act

    Social Security: The Greatest Government Policy of All Time?

    Review the Great Depression time line and the section entitled “The Stock Market Crash and The Great Depression” on The Historical Background and Development of Social Security page, and answer the questions below.

    Read the Preamble to the Social Security Act, and answer the questions below.

    • How was the Social Security Act going to provide for Americans in a different way than they had previously been provided for?
    • Why do you believe the Social Security Act identified these particular groups in its preamble?
    • According to the preamble, what problem is the Social Security Act solving? Under this system, what does the federal government do and what do the states do? Why divide their duties in this way?

    Read the following text, and work collaboratively with the rest of your group to answer the questions that follow.

    • What role is assigned to government in the reading?
    • Does the speaker believe that the Social Security Act will help or harm the people of the United States?
    • What is the speaker’s reasoning for his or her argument? Pay particular attention to whether their position is based on evidence, logic, or economic and political ideology.
    • Do you agree or disagree with the author of your document? Why or why not?
    • Do you think contemporaries would have found his or her arguments convincing? Why or Why not?

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