OASDI stands for Old Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance. It is the long-form name of the Social Security benefits in the US. It is the fund that is paid into by the withholdings on your paycheck. Those who may be eligible to collect OASDI include the disabled, retirees, and so on. The overall goal of the program is to replace the income lost to old age, losing a spouse who was the earner.
The program was created as the Social Security Act by President Roosevelt in 1935. With the country in the grips of the Great Depression at the time, people were eager for a safety net, and it has grown incredibly over the years. In the decade following the passage of the act, there were approximately 222,000 recipients of benefits, while at the end of 2020 there were roughly 70 million. The average monthly benefit for these recipients is about $1,500.
Criteria for Collecting OASDI
Payments into the OASDI program are collected by payroll taxes FICA and SECA, which are the Federal Insurance Contributions Act, and the Self-Employed Contributions Act. In order to collect payments from the OASDI program, the recipient must meet certain requirements. For the tax year 2021, the tax rate for Social Security collected via FICA is 6.2%, while those who are self-employed will pay a rate of 12.4%, or double.
To begin old-age payments, those born before 1960 can collect as early as 62 years old. For those born after 1960, however, the retirement age s 67. In some cases, people who qualify can wait until age 70 to begin collecting payments and can collect larger payments as a result. The funds are kept in a pair of trust funds, the Disability Insurance trust, and the ASI trust.
How Payments Are Calculated
Payment amounts for retired workers are determined by the wages of the worker who paid into the program during their working years. Payments to surviving spouses or children of passed or retired workers. Payments for disability are made only to those who can positively prove they cannot participate in gainful employment as well as meet additional requirements.
Qualifying for retirement benefits requires that the worker be fully insured by accumulating quarters, or credits, for coverage. Quarters are gained based on the wages of the earner for a predefined period and are accumulated for roughly each $1500 earned. Yearly quarter earnings are capped at 4, with 40 credits, or about 10 years of work.
When a worker is ready to retire, they will receive payments from the OASDI program that are based on the average of her 35 highest-paid years of work. If there are more than 35 years on record, the lowest years are eliminated from consideration. If the worker decides to retire early, then their work history is evaluated and any years without data are calculated as zeros in the 35-year formula. That 35-year average is what her monthly payments will be a portion of.