ACCC Explains What To Know About Social Security

National nonprofit American Consumer Credit Counseling explains what consumers need to know about Social Security benefits

Boston, MA – October 18, 2018

ACCC Explains What to Know about Social SecurityCapitalizing on Social Security benefits is critical to achieve a comfortable retirement. Most consumers rely on these benefits as a monthly income during their retirement, so it is important they understand the rules to maximize their entitled amount. National nonprofit American Consumer Credit Counseling (ACCC) explains what they need to know about Social Security.

“It is important that consumers know all the rules and benefits associated with Social Security, so they ensure they can take full advantage of this benefit,” said Steve Trumble, President, and CEO of American Consumer Credit Counseling. “Although consumers are able to apply for their Social Security benefit at 62, they will not be able to receive the full amount until their retirement age.”

According to the Social Security Administration, about 63 million Americans will receive one trillion dollars in Social Security benefits in 2018. Almost 90 percent of Americans 65 and older receive Social Security benefits – accounting for about 33 percent of their income. Seventy-two percent of the total benefits paid are received by retired workers and their dependents, followed by 13 percent of disabled workers and their dependents, and 15 percent of survivors of deceased workers.

ACCC explains what consumers need to know about Social Security.

  1. Full retirement age – Consumers are able to collect Social Security at 62, but that most likely is not the consumer’s retirement age. Retirement age is when consumers can obtain their unreduced Social Security benefits and based on when they are born.
  2. Benefits – Consumers must earn at least 40 “credits” to be eligible for Social Security. Consumers receive up to four credits per year of working, so it takes ten years to become eligible. Benefits are based on the 35 years in which the consumer made the most money. Years not worked receive a zero, but a consumer can work longer to make up for the years not worked.
  3. Spouse benefit – A spousal benefit allows one spouse to take up to 50 percent of the other spouse’s benefit. They can only apply for spouse benefit if the other spouse has already applied for their benefit.
  4. Survivor benefit – If a spouse passes away, the significant other is, in many cases, able to receive 100 percent of the benefit their spouse was receiving. A widower is eligible to take the survivor benefit at 60 years old.
  5. Consider delaying – After hitting full retirement age, consumers do not have to take their benefits. If consumers wait, their benefits will grow 8 percent per year until they turn 70 years old.
  6. Divorce benefit – Divorcees can still qualify to receive their ex-spouse’s benefit if they were married at least 10 years, are 62 years old or older, and single.

ACCC is a 501(c)3 organization that provides free credit counseling, bankruptcy counseling, and housing counseling to consumers nationwide in need of financial literacy education and money management. For more information, contact ACCC:

  • For credit counseling, and student loan counseling call 800-769-3571
  • For bankruptcy counseling, call 866-826-6924
  • For housing counseling, call 866-826-7180
  • Or visit us online at

About American Consumer Credit Counseling

American Consumer Credit Counseling (ACCC) is a nonprofit credit counseling 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to empowering consumers to achieve financial management through credit counseling, debt management, bankruptcy counseling, housing counseling, student loan counseling and financial education concerning debt solutions. To help consumers reach their goal of debt relief, ACCC provides a range of free consumer personal finance resources on a variety of topics including budgeting, credit and debt management, student loan assistance, youth and money, homeownership, identity theft, senior living, and retirement. Consumers can use ACCC’s worksheets, videos, calculators, and blog articles to make the best possible decisions regarding their financial future. ACCC holds an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and is a member of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling® (NFCC®). For more information or to access free financial education resources, log on to or visit