Episode 20: What Benefits Can I Get from Social Security?

Published: October 8, 2020 | Updated on: March 23, 2021

Thank you for joining us for Episode 20 of our Money Wisdom Question Series, where we film answers to common financial and retirement investment questions. Today’s question is, “What benefits can I get from Social Security?” There are four different types of Social Security benefits that are available to you and I’ll go over each one.

  1. Retirement Benefit
  2. Disability Benefit
  3. Children’s Benefit
  4. Widows’ Benefit
Social Security Retirement Benefit

Most of us know that Social Security provides a retirement benefit, right? My grandpa worked all his life in a factory and then when he retired, he got a pension and Social Security. The way Social Security works – of course, as most of us know – is that he gets a check for the rest of his life guaranteed by the United States government.

If he died before my grandma, then my grandma would get some type of benefit. It could be her own, or it might be his, but my grandma would benefit from being my grandpa’s spouse. That’s the retirement benefit that we all know of. Most of us are entitled to a retirement benefit unless we haven’t paid into the Social Security system in a substantial way.

Social Security Disability Benefit

There’s another benefit that a lot of people aren’t aware of, which is the disability benefit from Social Security. This benefit is quite generous. For example, let’s say you’re in your 40s and you become permanently disabled. This means you are unable to work or almost permanently disabled (there’s a little discretion the administration has there). You can get a Social Security disability benefit and it can be fairly substantial. It could be $2,000-$2,800 a month of Social Security benefit that goes to you when you’re disabled. You don’t give up your retirement benefit if you collect disability benefits from the Social Security Administration.

Social Security Children Benefit

Another benefit that’s available is for children. For instance, if my kids are under age 18 and I die and I was paying into the Social Security system, my children are eligible for a Social Security benefit until they reach age 18.

Social Security Widow Benefit

Last but not least, there’s a widow’s benefit. If I died and my wife was married to me for more than 10 years, when she reaches age 60 she can collect the widow’s benefit. She doesn’t have to wait until age 62 like a regular Social Security income benefit.


Thanks for joining me and I hope you found this information helpful!

P.S. If you enjoyed this topic and want to learn more, get our free guide,  “Social Security: Understanding the Benefits 2021“.

P.P.S. Feel free to submit questions here for a chance to have them answered!