Social Security is based on a simple concept: while you work, you pay taxes into the Social Security system, and when you retire or become disabled, you, your spouse and your dependent children receive monthly benefits based on your reported earnings. Also, your survivors can collect benefits if you die.
You can find almost any information you need about Social Security on the Internet at www.socialsecurity.gov. On the website, you can create an account to track your earnings and view benefit statements, calculate your benefit amount at retirement age, even apply for retirement or disability benefits.
If you cannot handle your business online or through Social Security's automated phone services, you can speak to a Social Security representative between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Monday through Friday by calling toll-free at 1-800-772-1213. Generally, you’ll have a shorter wait time if you call during the week after Tuesday. If you are deaf or hard of hearing, call the toll-free TTY number, 1-800-325-0778, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Monday through Friday. Free interpreter services are also available.