Over 64 million people today receive some form of Social Security benefits. (Source: Fast Facts & Figures About Social Security,
2015) But Social Security is more than just a retirement program. Its scope has expanded to include other benefits as well, such
as disability, family, and survivor’s benefits.

How does Social Security work?

The Social Security system is based on a simple premise: Throughout your career, you pay a portion of your earnings into a trust
fund by paying Social Security or self-employment taxes. Your employer, if any, contributes an equal amount. In return, you
receive certain benefits that can provide income to you when you need it most–at retirement or when you become disabled, for
instance. Your family members can receive benefits based on your earnings record, too.

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