The Social Security taxes you pay now translate to a lifetime of protection, when you eventually retire or if you become disabled.

Social Security Tips and Info

Young Workers, Meet Social Security

(July, 2013)

Welcome to the workforce, new workers! Whether you're beginning the career of a lifetime or just earning some extra money for the school year to come, there is one question that is likely to hit you when you see your first pay stub: "What is the FICA, and why is my paycheck less because of it?"

Generally, employers are required to withhold Social Security and Medicare tax from a worker's paycheck. Your employer matches the amounts you pay in Social Security and Medicare taxes. Usually the money we withhold is referred to as "Social Security taxes" on the employee's payroll statement. Sometimes the deduction is labeled as "FICA taxes," which stands for Federal Insurance Contributions Act, and sometimes OASDI, or Old Age Survivor and Disability Insurance. Name aside, what's important is how that money is being used, and what's in it for you down the road.

The taxes you pay now translate to a lifetime of protection, when you eventually retire or if you become disabled. If you die, your dependent children and spouse may be able to receive survivors benefits based on your work. Today you probably have family members—grandparents, for example—who already enjoy Social Security benefits that your Social Security taxes help provide.

You may be a long way from retirement now, so you may find it hard to appreciate the value of benefits that could be 40 or 50 years away. But consider that your Social Security taxes could pay off sooner than you think. Social Security provides valuable disability benefits—and studies show that a 20-year-old has about a three in 10 chance of becoming disabled sometime before reaching retirement age.

Don't be tempted if you're offered a job "under the table" or "off the books." If you work for any employer who pays you cash, you're likely not getting Social Security credit for the work you're doing and potentially missing out on future benefits.

Want to learn more about Social Security and what it means to young workers? If so, we invite you to enjoy an online video: Social Security 101: What's In It For Me? The webcast will fill you in on the details you should know to get the most out of Social Security. Check it out at www.socialsecurity.gov/webinars/social_security_101.html.

Here's another tip: open a my Social Security account so that you can access your Social Security Statement. That will allow you to make sure your earnings are recorded properly each year—and you can get estimates of what your future benefits may be. You can easily open a my Social Security account at www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount.

If you have questions about Social Security, the best place to go is www.socialsecurity.gov.

Yve Dargenson, Public Affairs Specialist, Social Security Administration

Yve Dargenson is a Public Affairs Specialist for the Social Security Administration. Her weekly column on all things Social Security appears in the Sunday Edition of the Sun-Sentinel. She conducts speaking engagements about Social Security programs and is always available to address issues that may affect the public. She coordinates exhibits, fairs, conventions and seminars and serves as an Agency contact with news media, community organizations and advocacy groups.

Yve has agreed to let us reprint her articles here for your convenience.

Thank you Yve!

Social Security Tips and Info - 2013

December, 2013

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November, 2013

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October, 2013

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September, 2013

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August, 2013

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July, 2013

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June, 2013

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Tell Them Why You're Smiling (Surprise...It's Social Security)

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May, 2013

Social Security Honors All Who Serve

Celebrate Cinco de Mayo with Spanish Online Services

Social Security's "Triple Crown" of Social Media

Mothers Everywhere Appreciate Extra Help

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April, 2013

Best Ways to Do Business with Social Security

Social Security Challenges You to a Word Game

Your Number Is Your Card

Retire on Your Own Terms

Identity Theft—It's No Joke

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March, 2013

Spring Into Retirement

March Madness at Social Security

Go Green this St. Patrick's Day by Going Paperless

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Green Eggs, Ham, and Social Security

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February, 2013

Fast-Tracked Disability Process Now Has 200 Medical Conditions

New to Electronic Payments

Social Security and Tax Time

Be in the Know About Medicare Part B

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January, 2013

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