Social Security is not just a retirement program. There are four main types of Social Security benefits, retirement, disability, survivor and dependent.
The Urban Institute reports that over the years most people receive more in benefits than they paid into the program. The studies suggest a married couple is more likely to get more back than a single person.
Social Security retirement benefits take three factors into consideration – the persons year of birth, their yearly taxable earnings and the age that the worker applies for benefits. The earliest retirement benefit you can apply for is at age 66. Every year thereafter that you delay applying for benefits increases the ultimate benefit by 8% a year between age 66 and age 70.