The following briefly describes the different types of benefits paid by Social Security. The descriptions are not meant to be definitive. Check with a local Social Security office if you believe you may be eligible for benefits. We pay benefits to the following types of beneficiaries.

  • Retired worker—beneficiary who worked in covered employment long enough to be insured and who is at least 62 years old (benefits equal to the "primary insurance amount" are payable at the normal
  • retirement age; maximum benefits are payable at age 70)
  • Spouse of retired worker—must either (1) have a child under age 16 or a disabled child in his or her care, or (2) be at least 62 years old; applies also to divorced spouse if the marriage lasted at least 10 years
  • Child of retired worker—see 3 types of child benefits below

  • Child of deceased worker—see 3 types of child benefits below
  • Aged widow(er)—must be at least 60 years old
  • Young widow(er)—must have a child under age 16 or a disabled child in his or her care
  • Disabled widow(er)—must be disabled and be at least 50 years old (converted to aged widow(er) upon attainment of age 65)
  • Parent of deceased worker—must have been dependent on worker and be at least 62 years old

  • Disabled worker—beneficiary who worked in covered employment long enough to be insured and who had been working recently in covered employment prior to disability onset
  • Spouse of disabled worker—must either (1) have a child under age 16 or a disabled child in his or her care, or (2) be at least 62 years old; applies also to divorced spouse if the marriage lasted at least 10 years
  • Child of disabled worker—see 3 types of child benefits below

  Types of children:

  • Minor child (under age 18)
  • Adult disabled before the age of 22
  • High school student under age 19