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Columbia Missourian

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Youth benefit from Social Security more than they think

By Harry R. Weitkemper
September 26, 2012 | 6:00 a.m. CDT

A recent survey showed young people wondered if Social Security would be around for their retirement. Today 4.3 million children receive survivor's benefits from a deceased parent's Social Security account. When today's young people get their Social Security number, if they die, their spouse, children and maybe their parents will receive survivors payments.

In 1939, dependent and survivor benefits were added to Social Security premiums to cover costs. Social Security is managed by a congressional committee which studies needs and makes suggestions to Congress and the president, who sets the premium for the next year. Social Security premiums have been changed each year since 1974. If no changes are made, Social Security can make full payments for the next 21 years, then payments will be 75 percent. I look for changes before 21 years.

You are or know someone who is now or has been aided by dependents' or survivors' benefits.

Harry R. Weitkemper is a Columbia resident.