social security

work credits

To receive any kind of Social Security benefit -- retirement, disability, dependents, or survivors -- the person on whose record the benefit is to be calculated must have accumulated enough work credits. A person can earn up to four work credits per year, and anyone who works full time, even at a very low-paying job, easily accumulates them. Ask the Social Security Administration for a copy of your Social Security Statement to see how many work credits you have accumulated.

Social Security statement

An accounting of each worker's earnings and work credits for purposes of calculating the amount of Social Security retirement, disability, survivors, or dependents benefits to which an individual is entitled. Social Security statements are generally mailed out each year to people age 40 and older. You can request your statement from the Social Security Administration.

Plan for Achieving Self-Support (PASS)

A program run by the Social Security Administration (SSA) to help Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients return to work. Under PASS, SSI recipients design a plan that shows how certain assets -- such as a car or tools -- will help them achieve a work goal. If the SSA approves the plan, then those assets will not be counted as resources in determining eligibility for SSI or in calculating the amount of the SSI benefit.

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