Social Security & Medicare Benefits

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What is Social Security?

Social Security is a mandated supplemental retirement system intended to ensure a basic retirement benefit for any worker who has paid into the program. A certain percentage of your paycheck goes directly into the Social Security fund to help provide benefits to current Social Security recipients. When you work and pay Social Security taxes, you earn “credits” toward Social Security benefits. You need 40 credits (10 years of work) to receive retirement benefits.

How can I calculate my benefit?

Your benefit is based on how much you earned during your working career and the age at which you decide to retire. If you retire at age 62 (the earliest possible retirement age for Social Security), your benefit will be lower than if you retire at Social Security's Normal Retirement Age or later. To calculate your estimated Social Security benefit, visit

What is Medicare?

Medicare is a health insurance plan for people who are age 65 or older. People who are disabled, have permanent kidney failure, or (ALS) Lou Gehrig's disease may qualify for Medicare at any age.

How does it work?

Medicare has four parts:

  • Hospital insurance (Part A) helps pay for inpatient hospital care and certain follow-up services.
  • Medical insurance (Part B) helps pay for doctors’ services, outpatient hospital care and other medical services.
  • Medicare Advantage plans (Part C) are available in many areas. People with Medicare Parts A and B can choose to receive all of their health care services through a provider organization under Part C.
  • Prescription drug coverage (Part D) helps pay for medications doctors prescribe for medical treatment.