What monthly benefits can I get from Social Security?

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Jan 21, 2010

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Social Security is more than monthly retirement benefits. Monthly benefits, depending upon the particular circumstances, can be paid to:

(1) a disabled worker under age 65

(2) a retired worker age 62 or older

(3) the spouse of a retired or disabled worker who is age 62 or older – or – who has a child under age 16 (or a child over the age of 16 who is disabled)

(4) the divorced spouse of a retired or disabled worker age 62 or older who was married to the worker for at least 10 years

(5) the dependent. Unmarried child of a disabled, retired or deceased worker who is under age 18, under age 19 and a full-time elementary or secondary school student, or age 18 or older but determined to be disabled before age 22

(6) surviving spouses age 60 or over

(7) the disabled surviving spouse of a deceased worker age 50 to 59 who became disabled within a specific period

(8) the surviving spouse of a deceased worker regardless of age who cares for an entitled child of the worker who is under age 16 or disabled before age 22

(9) the dependent parents of a deceased worker at age 62 or older

This list is fairly comprehensive but not necessarily complete. The complete set of potential monthly benefits payable along with the rules to determine who gets these benefits is beyond the available space for this article. If you believe you qualify for a monthly benefit, contact the Social Security Administration to find out how to present a claim for the benefit.

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