4 Social Security Terms You Need to Know


Navigating Social Security benefits and requirements can be a daunting task for many seniors. Understanding some of the more unique or important terms can help make the process a bit easier.

According to the Social Security Administration (SSA) blog, “Social Security Matters,” these are the four common terms and acronyms you should know:

  • COLA – This stands for Cost-of-Living Adjustment. Seniors who receive Social Security benefits may see an annual COLA, which is meant to help keep up with the rising costs of living.
  • FICA – The Federal Insurance Contributions Act is the name for the payroll taxes that workers pay into Social Security.
  • Credits – Credits are what determine if someone is eligible for Social Security benefits. A person earns credits by working and paying FICA taxes.
  • Earnings Record – This is a record of someone’s earnings throughout their working career. The SSA uses this information to calculate benefits.

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