The Social Security 101 Challenge

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The Social Security 101 Challenge

Do YOU consider yourself a Social Security genius?  You may THINK you know everything there is to know about how Social Security works, but this little test might just give you a run for your money.

We want to see just how much our friends really know about Social Security, so we designed this little Social Security test.  In this quiz, we're asking some basic questions every beneficiary should know the answer to (along with a few that perhaps only a TRUE Social Security expert might be able to best...).

This is all in good fun, so no worries if you trip up on a question here or there--some of these a real toughies.  But if you DO get every question right, make sure you let us know on social media so we can give you a well-deserved virtual high-five!

Good luck!

1 / 20

A divorced retiree may be eligible to collect a Social Security benefit based on the earnings record of their ex-spouse.

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Benefit amounts are determined based on the amount of money you've contributed to Social Security through payroll taxes while working.

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3 / 20

Members of Congress do NOT pay into Social Security.

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A beneficiary's dependents may be eligible for Social Security benefits.

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A beneficiary's Primary Insurance Amount (or PIA, the base amount of a person's monthly Social Security benefit) is the amount they would receive retiring at their earliest retirement age.

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6 / 20

Which President signed the Social Security Act into law?

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A surviving spouse can claim both their full Social Security benefit AND the their deceased spouse's full benefit.

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8 / 20

Only a United States citizen can receive Social Security benefits.

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What is the earliest age at which someone can apply for Social Security retirement benefits?

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This well-dressed lady is often called the "Mother of Social Security."  Along with being the very first woman to hold a U.S. Cabinet position, the longest serving Secretary of Labor, AND the first known LGBT Cabinet member, she is responsible for drafting the legislation that would become the Social Security Act.

What is her name?

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Speaking of important women in Social Security history, here's another name you might know: Ida M. Fuller of Ludlow, Vermont.  In 1940, she became the very first Social Security beneficiary.  She received the very first Social Security benefit of $22.54 (equivalent to over $400 today).  Throughout her life, she received a total of $22,888.92 in benefits.

But Ida only contributed to Social Security for just under three years.  How much did she contribute IN TOTAL during those three years to Social Security before receiving her $22,888.92 in lifetime benefits?

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Although the Social Security Administration was established after the Social Security Act was made law, it didn't have the offices or manpower right away to issue Social Security numbers or cards.  What federal organization was responsible for issuing Social Security numbers to the public prior to the SSA?

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Which President signed automatic Social Security Cost-of-Living Adjustments (COLAs) into law?

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14 / 20

Where does the federal government keep all of the surplus payroll taxes it collects to fund Social Security?

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15 / 20

Once locked in at retirement, a person's Social Security benefit is guaranteed and therefore can't be reduced or eliminated by the federal government.

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What do the first three numbers of a person's Social Security number indicate?

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What is the maximum monthly benefit a retiree can receive at full retirement age in 2021?

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Are there any limits to a wealthy or extremely high income-earning retiree's ability to claim Social Security benefits?

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How much are your Social Security benefits reduced if you work after you've reached full retirement age?

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20 / 20

Upon the passing of a spouse, surviving spouses may be eligible to claim which of the following benefits?

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Your score is

The average score is 66%

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