Who Gets Social Security?

Approximately 55.6 million people receive Social Security each month. 1 in 6 Americans get Social Security benefits. About 1 in 4 households receive income from Social Security.

Social Security beneficiaries:

  • 35.8 million retired workers
  • 8.6 million disabled workers
  • 4.4 widows and widowers
  • 2.5 million spouses
  • 1 million adults disabled since childhood
  • 3.4 million children

90% of people 65 and older get Social Security benefits. 2 in 3 get half or more of their income from Social Security. About 1 in 3 get almost all of their income from Social Security.

Over half of Americans 65 and older do not receive income from pensions.

Social Security Disability Insurance beneficiaries:

  • 33% Mental Impairment
  • 28% Musculoskeletal Conditions
  • 21% Injuries/Cancers/Other Conditions
  • 9% Heart Disease/Circulatory
  • 9% Nervous System/ Sense Organ Impairments

About 34% of disabled workers have incomes below 125% of the poverty threshold.

As of July 2012, over 8 million individuals were receiving SSI.

These statistics were taken from the National Academy of Social Insurance’s Social Security Benefits, Finances, and Policy Options:   A Primer:  http://www.nasi.org/sites/default/files/research/Social_Security_Primer_PDF.pdf.   SSI statistics were taken from the Social Security Administration’s SSI Monthly Statistics, July 2012:  http://www.ssa.gov/policy/docs/statcomps/ssi_monthly/index.html.