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RSDI Benefits Available to Workers and Employees

As a tax-paying employee or worker, you can avail of certain benefits under the Retirement, Survivors and Disability Insurance (RSDI) – considered as the largest insurance program in the country. RSDI covers nearly 96 percent of all occupations in the country and provides protection to almost 164 million workers today. According to Social security Administration, about 50 million people are receiving RSDI benefits at present.

Principally, the program provides benefits to the following eligible claimants:

  • Retired workers and employees
  • Surviving spouses or dependents of deceased workers
  • Those who have suffered disability or death of a family provider

To qualify for these benefits, you must have gained enough number of credits – which is based on age and type of benefits you are applying for - through monthly contributions from your income as worker or employee.

These credits are earned as you work and pay Social Security taxes. Under Title II of the Social Security Act, these benefits are paid through payroll taxes - also known as FICA - by employers, employees and the self-employed.

Depending on your situation and need, you may avail of the following main RSDI benefits:

Retirement benefits – These benefits are given to those who reached the age of 62 or older. Retirement benefits may be reduced if you retire before the full retirement age. Benefits may include pension for both you and your spouse and Medicare benefits.

Survivor benefits – Widows and widowers, disabled widow or widowers, children/ stepchildren, and parents who are 62 years or older and dependent on the deceased worker may receive this benefit. To be eligible for this benefit, the deceased workers must have worked for 10 years or at least for one and a half years during the 3 years prior to his death.

Disability benefits - Generally these are benefits given to those who are unable to work because of their disability. This program was initially designed to provide the disabled worker with compensation until his/her condition improves and even if it does not. To qualify for these benefits the claimants should meet the criteria specified by the SSA. The amount of disability benefits that you may receive depends on your age and the time when you become disabled. This means that if the disability occurs when the worker is at age 31 or older, he may receive a bigger amount than the worker whose disability occurs before age 24.

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