Social Security Works

Report | August 24, 2010 | By Marilyn Watkins

Executive Summary

For 75 years, Social Security has provided a foundation of economic security for American workers, retirees, and their families. It represents the best of American values, rewarding hard work, looking out for family and community, and honoring the contributions retirees have made to our current prosperity.

Social Security is well structured to continue serving future generations as well.

Social Security and economic security by the numbers:

In June 2010, Social Security paid benefits averaging $1,069 per month to 53.4 million individuals – 1 in 6 Americans.

Social Security provides income to 27% of American households, including:

  •  37 million retired workers and their dependents – 69% of beneficiaries;
  • 10 million disabled workers and their dependents – 19% of beneficiaries;
  • 6.4 million survivors of deceased workers – 12% of beneficiaries; over 1 million Washington residents.

Social Security provides economic security to young Americans:

  •  3.4 million children through age 19 receive Social Security benefits directly,and more than 3 million additional kids live in households with a beneficiary.
  • Social Security lifts an estimated 1.3 million children out of poverty.
  • About one in four 20-year-olds will be disabled before age 67 – becoming eligible for Social Security’s disability insurance.
  • One in eight 20-year-olds will die before retirement age – and their dependents will rely on Social Security’s survivors insurance.

Seniors rely on Social Security:

  •  Middle income senior households rely on Social Security for 64% of their income.
  • 11.5% of senior couples and 30% of unmarried seniors receive all of their income from Social Security.
  •  The decline of pensions and losses in the value of home equity and other assets make Social Security even more important for future retirees.

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Posted in Social Security