Social Security

The Social Security program is a system of social insurance under which workers (and their employers) contribute a part of their earnings in order to provide protection for themselves and their families if certain events occur. Since each worker pays Social Security taxes, each worker earns the right to receive Social Security benefits without regard to need. The fact that Social Security benefits go to some people who have high incomes has been a source of criticism. However, these persons pay into the program and play an important role in its financial base. Moreover, benefits of higher earners are subject to the income tax as a result of the 1983 Social Security amendments. Social Security taxes and benefit amounts are related to a person’s level of earnings during working years. As people earn more money and pay more in Social Security taxes, they are earning a right to higher benefits. There is, however, a limit on the amount of yearly earnings on which Social Security taxes must be paid and on which program benefit payments are figured.


Inside Social Security