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Legally Required Benefits: Federal

Legally Required Benefits requirements by state

Author: Jayne Zanglein, Western Carolina University


  • The Social Security Act provides workers and their families with income replacement upon retirement, the death of a spouse and permanent disability. See Social Security.
  • When individuals work and pay Social Security taxes, they earn credits towards Social Security benefits. See Social Security Benefits.
  • Social Security provides retirement benefits, disability benefits, death benefits and survivor's benefits. See Social Security Benefits.
  • Medicare is a federal health insurance program for certain qualified individuals. See Medicare.
  • Medicare is composed of four programs. See Medicare Benefits.
  • Unemployment insurance provides benefits to workers who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own. See Unemployment Insurance.
  • Employers must comply with the Federal Unemployment Tax Act (FUTA) in conjunction with applicable state unemployment insurance laws. See Unemployment Insurance.
  • Individual states establish eligibility requirements for unemployment benefits. See Eligibility.