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

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

If you have questions about Social Security, the best place to go is

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

Check in with Social Security Before Traveling Outside the United States

Avoid Winter's Perils by Going Online for Social Security

Resolve to Create a Better Retirement Financial Plan in 2014

Special Day Focuses on Helping People with Disabilities Open Doors

A Novel (But Open) Idea for a Holiday Gift

Questions And Answers (December, 2013)

November, 2013

Perfect Recipe for Retirement

Hit a Home Run with Social Security

Social Security Serves Those Who've Served

Start a New Tradition with Social Security

Questions And Answers (November, 2013)

October, 2013

You've Just Stepped into . . . the Retirement Zone

On Columbus Day, Discover New Services Online

This Halloween, Don't Be Spooked by the Internet

Share a Social Security Tip with Your Wise Elders

If You Can't Work Due to a Disability, Social Security Can Help

Questions And Answers (October, 2013)

September, 2013

(We Don't Need To) See You In September

We Speak Spanish on the Computer, Mobile Device, or Phone

You Know Where to Find Us (Because We Make It Easy)

Get Your Benefit Verification Letter Online

Let Social Security Help Guide You to Work

Questions And Answers (September, 2013)

August, 2013

It's Baseball Season! Who's on First? You are, with Social Security

Allow Social Security's Lighthouse to Guide You Into a Smooth Retirement

Spouses Have a Significant Benefit

In the Aftermath of Disaster, Social Security Can Help

Reflecting on 78 Years of Social Security

Questions And Answers (August, 2013)

July, 2013

Declare Your Independence with my Social Security

Celebrate the Retirement Estimator's Fifth Anniversary

Off to the Park? So is Social Security!

Apply for Disability Benefits from the Convenience of Home

Young Workers, Meet Social Security

Questions And Answers (July, 2013)

June, 2013

Strong Families Survive, and Social Security Helps

Social Security Brings the Office Outside

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

The Right Kind of Fishing (And How Not to Be the Catch of the Day)

Rocking Retirement

Questions And Answers (June, 2013)

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

Can't Work Due to Disability? Maybe Social Security Can Help

Questions And Answers (May, 2013)

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

Questions And Answers (April, 2013)

March, 2013

Spring Into Retirement

March Madness at Social Security

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

Women and Social Security

Green Eggs, Ham, and Social Security

Questions And Answers (March, 2013)

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

Questions And Answers (February, 2013)

January, 2013

A "Raise" for People Who Get Social Security

Financial Wellness Can Be Yours in 2013

Social Security Cards and Numbers

Myths About Social Security

Questions And Answers (January, 2013)

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