Highlights and Trends
Social Security (OASDI)
Employment and Earnings
|Workers in OASDI covered employment, 2004||156.8 million|
|Average earnings, 2004||$34,214|
|Earnings required in 2005 for—|
|1 quarter of coverage||$920|
|Maximum of 4 quarters of coverage||$3,680|
|Earnings test exempt amounts for 2005|
|Under full retirement age for entire year||$12,000|
|For months before reaching full retirement age in 2005||$31,800|
|Beginning with month of reaching full retirement age in 2005||Test eliminated|
|Cost-of-living adjustment for December 2004||2.7 percent|
|Average monthly benefit, December 2004|
|Widows and widowers, nondisabled||$920|
|Number of beneficiaries, December 2004|
|Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance||47.7 million|
|Retired workers||30.0 million|
|Widows and widowers, nondisabled||4.4 million|
|Disabled workers||6.2 million|
|Benefit payments, 2004|
|Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance||$493.3 billion|
|Old-Age and Survivors Insurance||$415.0 billion|
|Disability Insurance||$78.2 billion|
|Administrative expenses, 2004|
|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 47.7 million persons received Social Security benefits for December 2004, an increase of 654,200 (1.4 percent) since December 2003. Sixty-nine percent were retired workers and their spouses and children, and another 14 percent were survivors of deceased workers. Seventeen percent were disabled workers and their spouses and children.
- Seventy-two percent of the 30.0 million retired workers received reduced benefits because of entitlement prior to full retirement age. Relatively more women (75 percent) than men (70 percent) received reduced benefits.
- The number of beneficiaries aged 65 or older rose from 32.1 million in 1999 to 33.7 million in 2004 (5 percent). Beneficiaries aged 85 or older increased at a greater rate during the 5-year period (9.9 percent) from 3,962,000 in 1999 to 4,355,000 in 2004. In 2004, 41,700 centenarians were receiving Social Security.
- More than 19 million women aged 65 or older received benefits for December 2004. About 7.5 million (38.5 percent) were entitled solely to a retired-worker benefit, and another 5.8 million (29.6 percent) were dually entitled to a retired-worker benefit and a wife's or widow's benefit. About 6.2 million (31.9 percent) were receiving wife's or widow's benefits only.
- More than 3 million children under age 18 received benefits, including 1,338,900 children of deceased workers, 1,487,900 children of disabled workers, and 277,200 children of retired workers.
- About 7.2 million persons received benefits based on disability—6,198,300 disabled workers, 759,300 disabled adult children, and 210,700 disabled widows and widowers. In addition, 152,800 spouses and 1,534,100 minor and student children of disabled workers received benefits.
- Average monthly benefits for December 2004, including the 2.7 percent COLA increase, were $955 for retired workers, $894 for disabled workers, and $920 for nondisabled widows and widowers. Among retired workers, benefits averaged $1,076 for men and $826 for women. For disabled workers, average benefits were $1,002 for men and $765 for women.
- Average monthly family benefits for December 2004 were $1,740 for a widowed mother or father and children; $1,510 for a disabled worker, wife, and children; and $1,911 for a retired worker, wife, and children.
- Total OASDI benefit payments for calendar year 2004 were $493.3 billion. Payments from the OASI trust fund were $415 billion—an increase of 3.8 percent from the $399.8 billion paid in 2003.
- Benefit payments from the DI trust fund, from which benefits are paid to disabled workers, their spouses, and children, increased by 10.3 percent from $70.9 billion in 2003 to $78.2 billion in 2004.
- OASDI benefit awards in calendar year 2004 totaled 4,458,800, including 1,883,100 to retired workers, 434,800 to their spouses and children and 863,400 to survivors of insured workers. Benefits were awarded to 795,800 disabled workers and to 481,700 of their spouses and children.
Supplemental Security Income
Annual Payment Adjustments
|Monthly federal benefit rate, effective January 2005|
|Individual living in his or her own household||$579|
|Couple with both members eligible||$869|
|Cost-of-living adjustment||2.7 percent|
|Benefits paid in 2004||$37.0 billion|
|Number of recipients, December 2004||7.1 million|
|Average benefit, December 2004||$428.89|
|Federally administered payments|
|Benefits paid in 2004||$36.1 billion|
|Number of recipients, December 2004||7.0 million|
|Average benefit, December 2004||$428.29|
|Federal SSI payments|
|Benefits paid in 2004||$31.9 billion|
|Number of recipients, December 2004||6.7 million|
|Average benefit, December 2004||$395.36|
|Federally administered state supplementation|
|Benefits paid in 2004||$4.2 billion|
|Number of recipients, December 2004||2.5 million a|
|Average benefit, December 2004||$138.07|
|Benefits paid in 2004||$0.9 billion|
|Number of recipients, December 2004||0.6 million b|
|Average benefit, December 2004||$124.60|
a. Includes 2.2 million persons receiving federal SSI and state supplementation and 0.3 million persons receiving state supplementation only.
b. Includes 150,838 persons receiving state supplementation only.
- In December 2004, 6,987,800 persons received federally administered SSI payments—85,500 more than the previous year. Of the total, 1,977,600 (28.3 percent) were aged 65 or older; 4,017,100 (57.5 percent) were blind or disabled aged 18–64; and 993,100 (14.2 percent) were blind or disabled under age 18.
- The number of blind or disabled aged 18–64 rose by 63,900 (1.6 percent) between December 2003 and December 2004, while the number under age 18 increased by 33,700 (3.5 percent).
- During 2004, 856,200 persons were awarded federally administered payments, an increase of 32,100 from the previous year. Of the 2004 awards, 566,100 went to blind or disabled recipients aged 18–64, 182,200 to those blind or disabled under age 18, and 107,900 to recipients aged 65 or older.
- Total SSI payments were $37.0 billion in 2004, up 3.8 percent from 2003. Federal SSI payments in 2004 were $31.9 billion (an increase of 3.9 percent over the previous year). Federally administered state supplementation totaled $4.2 billion (an increase of 4.3 percent); state-administered supplementation totaled $895.7 million, a decrease of 1.7 percent from the previous year's totals.
|Total benefits paid in calendar year 2004|
|Hospital Insurance (Part A)||$167.6 billion|
|Supplementary Medical Insurance (Part B)||$135.4 billion|
|Number of enrollees in July 2004 (one or both of Parts A and B)||41.6 million|
|Administrative costs, 2004|
|As a percentage of total benefits paid||1.8 percent|
|Supplementary Medical Insurance|
|As a percentage of total benefits paid||2.1 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, 2004||$34.4 billion|
|Weekly benefit amount (regular programs)||$262.5|
|Duration of benefits||16.1 weeks|
|Weekly insured unemployment||3.0 million|
|Covered employment||127.6 million|
|Benefit payments, 2003||$54.9 billion|
|Compensation payments||$29.3 billion|
|Medical and hospitalization||$25.6 billion|
|Benefits paid by—|
|Private insurance carriers||$28.7 billion|
|State and federal funds||$13.6 billion|
|Employers' self-insurance||$12.6 billion|
|Covered workers per month||125.2 million|
|Costs as a percentage of covered payroll||1.71 percent|
Temporary Disability Insurance
|Average weekly benefit, 2002|
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||$562.00|
|Maximum family benefit||$1,125.00|
|Part B (claims filed before July 1, 1973)|
|Number of monthly benefits to miners, widows, and dependents, December 2004||52,362|
|Total benefits paid, calendar year 2004||$376.4 million|
|Part C (claims filed July 1, 1973, or later)|
|Total benefits paid, fiscal year 2004|
|Disability and survivors benefits||$293.1 million|
|Medical benefits||$54 million|
|Number of veterans with disability compensation or pension, 2005|
|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, 2004||$9.4 billion|
|Average monthly number of—|
|Average monthly payment|
|Monthly benefits, beginning October 1, 2005|
|Four-person household with no income||$506|
|Standard deduction (one-person to four-person households)||$134|
|Fiscal year 2004|
|Average number of participants||23.9 million|
|Total benefits||$24.6 billion|
Low-Income Home Energy Assistance
|Block grants to—|
|50 states and the District of Columbia||$1.74 billion|
|Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Guam, and Northern Mariana Islands||$2.4 million|
|Direct block grants to 135 Indian tribes and tribal organizations||$17.6 million|
|Leveraging incentive awards to—|
|40 states and the District of Columbia||$18.9 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—|
|50 states and the District of Columbia||$198.1 million|
|135 Indian tribes and tribal organizations||$1.7 million|
NOTE: Funds issued by the Department of Health and Human Services in fiscal year 2002.
|Weighted average poverty thresholds, 2004|
|Individual, aged 65 or older||$9,060|
|Couple, householder aged 65 or older||$11,430|
|Family of four||$19,307|
|Percentage of population with income below poverty level, 2003|
|All ages||12.5 percent|
|Children under the age of 18 living in families||17.1 percent|
|Persons aged 65 or older||10.2 percent|