Public-Use Data Files

These data files primarily cover the overall program beneficiary or recipient populations—characteristics, earnings, benefit amounts. Additional data resources are available at Social Security Data, SSA's Open Government Initiative, and disability-specific Public-Use Files.


Benefits and Earnings Public-Use File, 2004
(released October 2005)

This file contains two separate but linkable subfiles—one with benefit information and the other with longitudinal earnings information. Sample beneficiary records drawn from the Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance (OASDI) program can be linked to their corresponding earnings histories.

Information about beneficiaries needed to administer the OASDI program resides on SSA"s Master Beneficiary Record (MBR) file, which in December 2004 contained records for approximately 47 million individuals who were entitled to receive an OASDI benefit for that month. Data in the benefit subfile are an extract from the MBR, consisting of a 1 percent random, representative sample of approximately 470,000 records. These records are representative of OASDI beneficiaries who were entitled to receive an OASDI benefit payment for December 2004. Each record in the benefit and earnings subfiles has a unique identifier that allows each earnings record to be linked to its appropriate benefit record.

Earnings Public-Use File, 2006
(released August 2011)

The 2006 Earnings Public-Use File (EPUF) is a data file containing earnings records for individuals drawn from a systematic 1-percent random sample of all Social Security numbers issued before January 1, 2007. With a few minor exceptions, all of the data in this file are from the summary segment of the Social Security Administration's Master Earnings File, the administrative file used to determine an individual's eligibility for Social Security benefits and the amount of benefits paid.

The EPUF consists of two separate, linkable files—one with demographic and aggregate earnings information for all individuals in EPUF (the demographic subfile) and one with annual earnings information for the individuals who had positive earnings in at least 1 year during 1951–2006 (the annual earnings subfile.) The demographic subfile contains records for over 4 million individuals, and the annual earnings subfile contains over 60 million earnings records for about 3 million individuals.

New Beneficiary Data System (NBDS)
(released March 1997)

The NBDS, developed over the past decade, contains extensive information on the changing circumstances of aged and disabled beneficiaries. Based initially on a national cross-sectional survey of new beneficiaries in 1982, the original data base has been expanded with information from administrative records and a second round of interviews in 1991. Variables measured in the original New Beneficiary Survey include demographic characteristics; employment, marital, and childbearing histories; household composition; health; income and assets; program knowledge; and information about the spouses of married respondents. The NBDS contains unique measurements that make it valuable not only for studies about Social Security but also for studies of health, economic, labor, gerontological, and welfare issues.

Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance (OASDI) Public-Use Microdata File, 2001 Data
(released October 2003)

Information needed to administer the OASDI program resides on SSA's Master Beneficiary Record (MBR) file, which in December 2001 contained records for approximately 46 million individuals who were entitled to receive an OASDI benefit for that month. The OASDI Public-Use Microdata File contains an extract of data fields from the MBR and consists of a 1 percent random, representative sample of persons entitled to receive an OASDI benefit payment for December 2001. This file contains approximately 460,000 records with 16 data fields on each record.

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Public-Use Microdata File, 2001 Data
(released October 2003)

Information needed to administer the federal SSI program resides on SSA's Supplemental Security Record (SSR) file, which in December 2001 contained records for approximately 6.4 million individuals who received a federal SSI benefit for that month. The SSI Public-Use Microdata File contains an extract of data fields from the SSR and consists of a 5 percent random, representative sample of persons who received a federal SSI benefit in December 2001. This file contains approximately 320,000 records with 13 data fields on each record.

Summary Data

Field Office Listing, 2016
(released June 2017)

A consolidated list of field offices that we created as part of a Disability Research Consortium project entitled “Who Is Screened Out? Application Costs and the Targeting of Disability Programs.” Although this information exists in the public domain, it would take some effort to accumulate it into one file so we are releasing it as a convenience for the research community who might have an interest in conducting similar research.

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Recipients by Geographic Area, Sex, Age, Eligibility, and Diagnostic Group, 2010 Data
(released April 2013)

The SSI Annual Statistical Report, 2010 contains tables that describe the demographic and program characteristics of applicants for and recipients of SSI in December of 2010 and earlier. SSA collects additional information about these applicants and recipients, but privacy laws limit the amount of information we can share with the public. However, in the spirit of the open government initiative, we have developed four public use summary data files containing SSI recipient information that is not found in our annual report. Specifically, we take the information provided in Tables 10 and 38 in the annual report and provide further breakdowns by sex and age groups.