Highlights and Trends
Social Security (OASDI)
Employment and Earnings
|Workers in OASDI covered employment, 2003||154.3 million|
|Average earnings, 2003||$32,808|
|Earnings required in 2004 for—|
|1 quarter of coverage||$900|
|Maximum of 4 quarters of coverage||$3,600|
|Earnings test exempt amounts for 2004|
|Under full retirement age for entire year||$11,640|
|For months before reaching full retirement age in 2004||$31,080|
|Beginning with month of reaching full retirement age in 2004||Test eliminated|
|Cost-of-living adjustment for December 2003||2.1 percent|
|Average monthly benefit, December 2003|
|Widows and widowers, nondisabled||$888|
|Number of beneficiaries, December 2003|
|Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance||47.0 million|
|Retired workers||29.5 million|
|Widows and widowers, nondisabled||4.5 million|
|Disabled workers||5.9 million|
|Benefit payments, 2003|
|Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance||$470.8 billion|
|Old-Age and Survivors Insurance||$399.8 billion|
|Disability Insurance||$70.9 billion|
|Administrative expenses, 2003|
|Old-Age and Survivors Insurance|
|As a percentage of total benefits paid||0.6 percent|
|As a percentage of total benefits paid||2.8 percent|
- About 47.0 million persons received Social Security benefits for December 2003, an increase of 594,000 (1.2 percent) since December 2002. Sixty-nine percent were retired workers and their spouses and children, and another 14 percent were survivors of deceased workers. Sixteen percent were disabled workers and their spouses and children.
- Seventy-two percent of the 29.5 million retired workers received reduced benefits because of entitlement prior to full retirement age. Relatively more women (75 percent) than men (69 percent) received reduced benefits.
- The number of beneficiaries aged 65 or older rose from 32.0 million in 1998 to 33.5 million in 2003 (4.7 percent). Beneficiaries aged 85 or older increased at a greater rate during the 5-year period (10.3 percent) from 3,873,000 in 1998 to 4,271,000 in 2003. In 2003, 40,500 centenarians were receiving Social Security.
- More than 19 million women aged 65 or older received benefits for December 2003. About 7.3 million (37.8 percent) were entitled solely to a retired-worker benefit, and another 5.7 million (29.6 percent) were dually entitled to a retired-worker benefit and a wife's or widow's benefit. About 6.3 million (32.6 percent) were receiving wife's or widow's benefits only.
- Over 3 million children under age 18 received benefits, including 1,345,000 children of deceased workers, 1,461,600 children of disabled workers, and 273,600 children of retired workers.
- About 6.8 million persons received benefits based on disability—5,874,000 disabled workers, 752,800 disabled adult children, and 209,400 disabled widows and widowers. In addition, 150,900 spouses and 1,508,400 minor and student children of disabled workers received benefits.
- Average monthly benefits for December 2003, including the 2.1 percent COLA increase, were $922 for retired workers, $862 for disabled workers, and $888 for nondisabled widows and widowers. Among retired workers, benefits averaged $1,039 for men and $798 for women. For disabled workers, average benefits were $966 for men and $734 for women.
- Average monthly family benefits for December 2003 were $1,672 for a widowed mother or father and children; $1,455 for a disabled worker, wife, and children; and $1,833 for a retired worker, wife, and children.
- Total OASDI benefit payments for calendar year 2003 were $470.8 billion. Payments from the OASI trust fund were $399.8 billion—an increase of 3.0 percent from the $388.1 billion paid in 2002.
- Benefit payments from the DI trust fund, from which benefits are paid to disabled workers, their spouses, and children, increased by 8.0 percent from $65.7 billion in 2002 to $70.9 billion in 2003.
- OASDI benefit awards in calendar year 2003 totaled 4,321,800, including 1,791,300 to retired workers, 417,800 to their spouses and children and 853,000 to survivors of insured workers. Benefits were awarded to 777,500 disabled workers and to 482,100 of their spouses and children.
Supplemental Security Income
Annual Payment Adjustments
|Monthly federal benefit rate, effective January 2004|
|Individual living in his or her own household||$564|
|Couple with both members eligible||$846|
|Cost-of-living adjustment||2.1 percent|
|Benefits paid in 2003||$35.6 billion|
|Number of recipients, December 2003||7.1 million|
|Average benefit, December 2003||$418.04|
|Federally administered payments|
|Benefits paid in 2003||$34.7 billion|
|Number of recipients, December 2003||6.9 million|
|Average benefit, December 2003||$417.16|
|Federal SSI payments|
|Benefits paid in 2003||$30.7 billion|
|Number of recipients, December 2003||6.6 million|
|Average benefit, December 2003||$383.59|
|Federally administered state supplementation|
|Benefits paid in 2003||$4.0 billion|
|Number of recipients, December 2003||2.5 million a|
|Average benefit, December 2003||$138.38|
|Benefits paid in 2003||$0.9 billion|
|Number of recipients, December 2003||0.6 million b|
|Average benefit, December 2003||$124.38|
a. Includes 2.2 million persons receiving federal SSI and state supplementation and 0.3 million persons receiving state supplementation only.
b. Includes 149,621 persons receiving state supplementation only.
- In December 2003, 6,902,400 persons received federally administered SSI payments—114,500 more than the previous year. Of the total, 1,989,700 (28.8 percent) were aged 65 or older; 3,953,200 (57.3 percent) were blind or disabled aged 18–64; and 959,400 (13.9 percent) were blind or disabled under age 18.
- The number of blind or disabled aged 18–64 rose by 75,500 (1.9 percent) between December 2002 and December 2003, while the number under age 18 increased by 44,600 (4.9 percent).
- During 2003, 824,000 persons were awarded federally administered payments, an increase of 6,000 from the previous year. Of the 2003 awards, 537,400 went to blind or disabled recipients aged 18–64, 179,600 to those blind or disabled under age 18, and 107,000 to recipients aged 65 or older.
- Total SSI payments were $35.6 billion in 2003, up 3.0 percent from 2002. Federal SSI payments in 2003 were $30.7 billion (an increase of 2.6 percent over the previous year). Federally administered state supplementation totaled $4.0 billion (an increase of 4.8 percent); state-administered supplementation totaled $912.0 million, an increase of 7.5 percent from the previous year's totals.
|Total benefits paid in calendar year 2003|
|Hospital Insurance (Part A)||$152.1 billion|
|Supplementary Medical Insurance (Part B)||$123.8 billion|
|Number of enrollees in July 2003 (one or both of Parts A and B)||41.1 million|
|Administrative costs, 2003|
|As a percentage of total benefits paid||1.7 percent|
|Supplementary Medical Insurance|
|As a percentage of total benefits paid||1.9 percent|
|Medical service expenditures in fiscal year 2002||$213.5 billion|
|Number of unduplicated recipients, fiscal year 2002||49.8 million|
|Average 2002 vendor payment per unduplicated recipient|
|Persons aged 65 or older||$10,870|
|Permanently and totally disabled persons||$11,408|
|Dependent children under age 21||$1,271|
|Average 2002 vendor payment for medical services|
|Nursing facility services||$22,247|
|Inpatient general hospital care||$5,766|
Other Social Insurance Programs and Veterans' Benefits
|Total payments, 2003||$41.4 billion|
|Weekly benefit amount (regular programs)||$262|
|Duration of benefits||16.4 weeks|
|Weekly insured unemployment||3.5 million|
|Covered employment||126.1 million|
|Benefit payments, 2002||$53.4 billion|
|Compensation payments||$29.2 billion|
|Medical and hospitalization||$24.3 billion|
|Benefits paid by—|
|Private insurance carriers||$29.0 billion|
|State and federal funds||$12.5 billion|
|Employers' self-insurance||$11.9 billion|
|Covered workers per month||125.6 million|
|Costs as a percentage of covered payroll||1.58 percent|
Temporary Disability Insurance
|Average weekly benefit, 2001|
NOTE: Programs in effect in California, Hawaii, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Puerto Rico, and the railroad industry.
a. Accounts for half of the workers participating in Temporary Disability Insurance.
Black Lung Benefits
|Basic benefit to miner or widow||$549.00|
|Maximum family benefit||$1,098.00|
|Part B (claims filed before July 1, 1973)|
|Number of monthly benefits to miners, widows, and dependents, December 2003||64,237|
|Total benefits paid, calendar year 2003||$411.6 million|
|Part C (claims filed July 1, 1973, or later)|
|Total benefits paid, fiscal year 2003|
|Disability and survivors benefits||$336.9 million|
|Medical benefits||$55 million|
|Number of veterans with disability compensation or pension, 2003|
|Monthly payment in 2003 for—|
|10 percent disability||$104|
|Non-service-connected disability (maximum payment)|
|With one dependent and in need of aid and attendance||$1,597|
Public Assistance Programs
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families
|Total payments, 2003||$9.5 billion|
|Average monthly number of—|
|Average monthly payment|
|Monthly benefits, beginning October 1, 2004|
|Four-person household with no income||$499|
|Standard deduction (one-person to four-person households)||$134|
|Fiscal year 2003|
|Average number of participants||21.3 million|
|Total benefits||$21.4 billion|
Low-Income Home Energy Assistance
|Block grants to—|
|50 states and the District of Columbia||$1.65 billion|
|Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Guam, and Northern Mariana Islands||$2.3 million|
|Direct block grants to 132 Indian tribes and tribal organizations||$16.4 million|
|Leveraging incentive awards to—|
|38 states||$19.0 million|
|28 Indian tribes and tribal organizations||$1.6 million|
|Residential Emergency Assistance Challenge (REACH) program awards to—|
|6 states||$5.5 million|
|7 Indian tribes and tribal organizations||$1.0 million|
|Emergency contingency funds to—|
|33 states and the District of Columbia||$99.4 million|
|46 Indian tribes and tribal organizations||$613 thousand|
NOTE: Funds issued by the Department of Health and Human Services in fiscal year 2002.
|Weighted average poverty thresholds, 2003|
|Individual, aged 65 or older||$8,825|
|Couple, householder aged 65 or older||$11,133|
|Family of four||$18,810|
|Percentage of population with income below poverty level, 2002|
|All ages||12.1 percent|
|Children under age 18 living in families||16.2 percent|
|Persons aged 65 or older||10.4 percent|