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Are Social Security benefits for life? When do they end?

They are a vital form of support for the retired, disabled people and other vulnerable groups. How long do Social Security benefits last for?

How long does Social Security last?

The Social Security Administration (SSA) oversees a number of benefits programs, with more than 65 million Americans in receipt of the support every month.

The most widely-claimed is the retirement benefits, which can be claimed from the age of 62 onwards. However to receive your maximum monthly payment you will have to wait until full retirement age, which is 66 for those born between 1943 and 1954.

For younger claimants, the full retirement age increases by two months for every year after 1955 you were born. This is capped at a full retirement age of 67 for those born in 1960 or later.

However, regardless of the point at which you first claim, your Social Security retirement benefits will continue for your lifetime.

Other types of Social Security benefits

As mentioned, the retirement benefits are far from the only support program administrated by the SSA. Here’s three other widely-received programs and their duration.

Social Security Spousal Benefits – Payments can also be claimed by spouses who do not have a sufficient work history to claim their own benefits. They can receive up to half of their spouse’s benefits, and will continue to do so until they die.

Social Security Benefits for Children – Children can receive benefits if their parent is in receipt of either retirement or disability benefits from the SSA and can continue to receive the support up to the age of 18, or 19 if they are still in high school.

Social Security Disability Benefits – The support for disabled people is different to the other programs mentioned because there is a continuous process of evaluation to establish whether someone is able to receive the payments. The benefits payments begin six months after the onset of the disability and will continue for life, or until the SSA decides that the recipient is no longer eligible.


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