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Important Social Security benefits and details

Missouri residents may not realize that there are several different types of benefits available through the Social Security Administration. Understanding each of these may be important as issues arise in life, particularly for those who are drawing closer to their retirement years. It is helpful to note that not all benefits are retirement-related. For example, Social Security disability benefits are connected with becoming disabled at any age. Benefits for eligible workers are dependent on recent work and duration of work in one's past. A medical condition must be significant enough that it will last for a year or longer or that it will result in one's death. The SSA does not cover partial disability.

Survivor benefits are important for those outliving an individual who has a sufficient history of Social Security contributions. It is estimated that 98 percent of surviving children qualify for such benefits when a parent dies. Eligibility is typically based on a work history of at least 10 years, but this may be reduced if a parent dies at a young age. Surviving family members who may qualify for benefits could include children, a spouse or ex-spouse and dependent parents.

Medicare and Supplemental Security Income are benefits that are primarily available to those who are at least 65 years old. While Medicare may not cover all health-related expenses, it may help. Supplemental policies can be privately purchased. SSI is available to those in this age group who are blind or disabled and whose resources are extremely limited.

An individual dealing with a disability may be concerned about meeting the SSA's standards for benefits. Input from an experienced lawyer may be helpful as records are collected and forms completed. A lawyer may also be able to provide information about other programs with assistance for partial disability if a condition may not meet SSA's standards for disability benefits.

Source: The Huffington Post, "Social Security Benefits Made Easy -- Part 5", Jay Lickus , August 04, 2014

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