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Terms and Definitions

What is Social Security?

Updated: May 16, 2024

Social Security definition and meaning

Social security is used to refer to the taxation of wages, or the distribution of benefits as prescribed in the Social Security Act of 1935.


More about Social Security

Signed into law by President Roosevelt on August 14, 1935, the Social Security Act established social insurance programs including retirement, survivors and disability insurance that are provided to individuals and families. These programs are administered by the Social Security Administration, which is a federal agency. Payments under these programs, known as Social Security benefits, are paid upon filing an application for benefits, but only if the applicant meets certain eligibility requirements.

Using Social Security in a sentence

“I’m eligible to collect Social Security, but I’d rather wait until I’m ready to retire to start collecting benefits.”

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