A Glossary of Social Security Services Terms
It is estimated that social security benefits keep as many as 40 percent of senior citizens out of poverty. When applying to the social security administration for benefits, be sure to understand these terms.
AME – AME, or Average Monthly Earnings, is your total income earned over the course of your work employment history, divided into months. The government tracks these earnings using your social security number.
Application for benefits – This is the application you submit to the social security department in order to begin receiving benefits. You can apply online or call for an application by mail.
Benefits – Social security benefits break down into disability, retirement, Medicare insurance, family benefits for child dependents, and survivor benefits in the case that you are widowed.
Disability – Disability benefits are paid by the social security administration when medical conditions make it impossible to work. This disability must last more than one year, or must be expected to result in death.
Retirement age – The retirement age is 62, and 60 for widows. You may opt to receive reduced assistance before you reach the retirement age.
Social security – Social security is basically a federal pension system. Throughout your life, you will pay taxes into the social security system. The social security department will then send checks to you, your spouse or your children when you retire, become disabled or die.
Social security office – You can visit the government social security office to apply for a social security card, obtain your earnings record and apply for benefits.
Survivor benefits – If you die, your benefits can go to a number of people under certain conditions, including your spouse, children, and parents.