What is Social Security?

Social Security provides assistance to the elderly, workers who become disabled, and families in which a spouse or parent dies.  Social Security system is funded through tax money, which is then used to provide current benefits to retirees, people with disabilities, and survivors of workers who have died, and dependents of the beneficiaries.

Your Social Security tax dollars are used to pay for the two groups of people that receive benefits from Social Security 1.  85 cents of every Social Security tax dollar goes to a trust fund that pays monthly benefits to retirees and their families, and to surviving spouses and children of workers who have died.  15 cents of every dollar goes to people with disabilities and their families.  Less than one penny per dollar is spent to manage the program.  100% of your Medicare taxes go to a trust fund to help pay for costs of hospital and related care for Medicare beneficiaries, but it is managed by Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (not Social Security).

In most states, if you qualify for Social Security and Supplemental Security Income, it means that you qualify for Medicaid. 11 states require separate application with their Medicaid agencies and have their own Medicaid eligibility rules, with at least one eligibility requirement more restrictive than the ones SSI programs use 2. Check to see the status of your state.

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