Retirement Benefits

Lesson 5


Social Security is a retirement plan that most American workers participate in. It is important to understand how the system works and how much you will receive when you retire.

Earning Credits

When you work and pay Social Security taxes, you earn “credits” toward Social Security benefits. If you were born in 1929 or later, you need forty credits or 10 years of work to qualify for benefits. Even if you stop working before you have enough credits, they will remain on your Social Security record. If you return to work later, the SSA will add more credits based on the amount you earn. However, the SSA cannot pay any retirement benefits until you have the required number of credits.

Benefit Payment

Social Security calculates your benefit payment based on how much you earned throughout your working career. The higher your lifetime earnings, the higher your benefits will be. The age at which you decide to retire also affects your benefit. If you retire at age 62, your benefit will be lower, while if you retire at age 70, your benefit will be higher.

Disability Benefits

If you cannot work because of health problems and you have an employment history, you can apply for Social Security disability benefits prior to reaching retirement eligibility age. The disability benefit amount is the same as a full, unreduced retirement benefit.


Social Security retirement benefits are an essential part of ensuring financial stability during retirement. It is crucial to understand how the system works, how to earn credits, and how Social Security calculates benefit payments. For people who are blind or disabled, it is essential to have the right information about Social Security benefits to ensure that they receive the benefits they deserve. By understanding Social Security retirement benefits, people who are blind or disabled can plan their retirement and ensure financial security for themselves and their families.

Further Reading