Highlights and Trends
Social Security (Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance)
Employment and Earnings
|Workers in OASDI covered employment, 2009||157.6 million|
|Average earnings, 2009||$39,223|
|Earnings required in 2010 for—|
|1 quarter of coverage||$1,120|
|Maximum of 4 quarters of coverage||$4,480|
|Earnings test exempt amounts for 2010|
|Under full retirement age for entire year||$14,160|
|For months before reaching full retirement age in 2010||$37,680|
|Beginning with month of reaching full retirement age in 2010||Test eliminated|
|Cost-of-living adjustment for December 2009||0.0 percent|
|Average monthly benefit, December 2009|
|Widows and widowers, nondisabled||$1,124|
|Number of beneficiaries, December 2009|
|Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance||52.5 million|
|Retired workers||33.5 million|
|Widows and widowers, nondisabled||4.1 million|
|Disabled workers||7.8 million|
|Benefit payments, 2009|
|Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance||$675.5 billion|
|Old-Age and Survivors Insurance||$557.2 billion|
|Disability Insurance||$118.3 billion|
|Administrative expenses, 2009|
|Old-Age and Survivors Insurance|
|As a percentage of total benefits paid||0.6 percent|
|As a percentage of total benefits paid||2.3 percent|
- About 52.5 million persons received Social Security benefits for December 2009, an increase of 1,624,575 (3.2 percent) since December 2008. Sixty-nine percent were retired workers and their spouses and children, 12 percent were survivors of deceased workers, and 19 percent were disabled workers and their spouses and children.
- Seventy-four percent of the 33.5 million retired workers received reduced benefits because of entitlement prior to full retirement age. Relatively more women (76.4 percent) than men (71.4 percent) received reduced benefits.
- The number of beneficiaries aged 65 or older rose from about 33.7 million in 2004 to more than 36.5 million in 2009 (8.3 percent). The number of beneficiaries aged 85 or older increased at a greater rate during the 5-year period (17.3 percent), from fewer than 4.4 million in 2004 to more than 5.1 million in 2009. In 2009, about 49,000 centenarians were receiving Social Security.
- About 20.7 million women aged 65 or older received benefits for December 2009. About 8.9 million (43.0 percent) were entitled solely to a retired-worker benefit. About 6.1 million (29.5 percent) were dually entitled to a retired-worker benefit and a wife's or widow's benefit, and about 5.7 million (27.5 percent) were receiving wife's or widow's benefits only.
- Nearly 3.2 million children under age 18 received benefits, including 1,258,817 children of deceased workers, 1,598,189 children of disabled workers, and 301,132 children of retired workers.
- About 8.9 million persons received benefits based on disability—7,788,013 disabled workers, 920,883 disabled adult children, and 236,480 disabled widows and widowers. In addition, 158,122 spouses and 1,657,713 minor and student children of disabled workers received benefits.
- Average monthly benefits for December 2009 were $1,164 for retired workers, $1,064 for disabled workers, and $1,124 for nondisabled widows and widowers. Among retired workers, monthly benefits averaged $1,312 for men and $1,011 for women. For disabled workers, average monthly benefits were $1,189 for men and $925 for women. No cost-of-living adjustment for 2010 went into effect in December 2009.
- Average monthly family benefits for December 2009 were $2,110 for a widowed mother or father and children; $1,835 for a disabled worker, wife, and children; and $2,394 for a retired worker, wife, and children.
- Total OASDI benefit payments for calendar year 2009 were $675.5 billion. Payments from the OASI trust fund were $557.2 billion—an increase of 9.4 percent from the $509.1 billion paid in 2008.
- Benefit payments from the DI trust fund, from which benefits are paid to disabled workers, their spouses, and children, increased by 11.3 percent from $106.3 billion in 2008 to $118.3 billion in 2009.
- OASDI benefit awards in calendar year 2009 totaled 5,728,086, including 2,739,966 to retired workers, 531,535 to their spouses and children, and 899,645 to survivors of insured workers. Benefits were awarded to 970,696 disabled workers and to 586,244 of their spouses and children.
Supplemental Security Income
Annual Payment Adjustments
|Monthly federal benefit rate, effective January 2010|
|Individual living in his or her own household||$674|
|Couple with both members eligible||$1,011|
|Cost-of-living adjustment||0.0 percent|
|Federally administered payments|
|Benefits paid in 2009||$46.6 billion|
|Number of recipients, December 2009||7.7 million|
|Average benefit, December 2009||$498.75|
|Federal SSI payments|
|Benefits paid in 2009||$42.6 billion|
|Number of recipients, December 2009||7.4 million|
|Average benefit, December 2009||$476.33|
|Federally administered state supplementation|
|Benefits paid in 2009||$4.0 billion|
|Number of recipients, December 2009||2.3 million a|
|Average benefit, December 2009||$124.96|
a. Includes 2.0 million persons receiving federal SSI and state supplementation and 0.3 million persons receiving state supplementation only.
- In December 2009, 7,676,686 persons received federally administered SSI payments—156,185 more than the previous year. Of the total, 2,025,610 (26.4 percent) were aged 65 or older; 4,451,288 (58.0 percent) were blind or disabled aged 18–64; and 1,199,788 (15.6 percent) were blind or disabled under age 18.
- The number of blind or disabled aged 18–64 rose by 118,192 (2.7 percent) between December 2008 and December 2009, and the number under age 18 increased by 45,944 (4.0 percent).
- During 2009, 999,540 persons were awarded federally administered payments, an increase of 80,394 from the previous year. Of the 2009 awards, 694,242 went to blind or disabled recipients aged 18–64, 196,745 to those blind or disabled under age 18, and 108,553 to recipients aged 65 or older.
- Total federally administered SSI payments were $46.6 billion in 2009, up 8.4 percent from 2008. Federal SSI payments in 2009 were $42.6 billion (an increase of 10.1 percent over the previous year). Federally administered state supplementation totaled $4.0 billion.
|Total benefits paid in calendar year 2009|
|Hospital Insurance (Part A)||$239.3 billion|
|Supplementary Medical Insurance (Part B)||$263.0 billion|
|Number of enrollees in July 2009 (one or both of Parts A and B)||46.5 million|
|Administrative costs, 2009|
|As a percentage of total benefits paid||1.3 percent|
|Supplementary Medical Insurance|
|As a percentage of total benefits paid||1.3 percent|
|Medical service expenditures in fiscal year 2008||$296.6 billion|
|Number of unduplicated recipients, fiscal year 2008||58.7 million|
|Average 2008 vendor payment per unduplicated recipient|
|Persons aged 65 or older||$14,748|
|Permanently and totally disabled persons||$14,840|
|Dependent children under age 21||$2,035|
|Average 2008 vendor payment for medical services|
|Nursing facility services||$29,515|
|Inpatient general hospital care||$7,082|
Other Social Insurance Programs and Veterans' Benefits
|Total payments, 2008||$42.7 billion|
|Weekly benefit amount (regular programs)||$297.10|
|Duration of benefits||14.9 weeks|
|Weekly insured unemployment||3.3 million|
|Covered employment||132.8 million|
|Benefit payments, 2008||$57.6 billion|
|Compensation payments||$28.5 billion|
|Medical and hospitalization||$29.1 billion|
|Benefits paid by—|
|Private insurance carriers||$30.2 billion|
|State and federal funds||$13.9 billion|
|Employers' self-insurance||$13.6 billion|
|Covered workers per month||130.6 million|
|Costs as a percentage of covered payroll||1.33 percent|
Temporary Disability Insurance
|Average weekly benefit, 2007|
NOTE: Programs in effect in California, Hawaii, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Puerto Rico, and the railroad industry.
Black Lung Benefits
|Basic benefit to miner or widow||$616|
|Maximum family benefit||$1,232|
|Part B (claims filed before July 1, 1973)|
|Number of monthly benefits to miners, widows, and dependents, December 2009||28,558|
|Total benefits paid, calendar year 2009||$232.0 million|
|Part C (claims filed July 1, 1973, or later)|
|Total benefits paid, fiscal year 2009|
|Disability and survivors benefits||$251.0 million|
|Medical benefits||$31.0 million|
|Number of veterans with disability compensation or pension, 2009|
|Monthly payment in 2010 for—|
|10 percent disability||$123|
|Nonservice-connected disability (maximum payment)|
|With one dependent and in need of aid and attendance||$1,950|
|Weighted average poverty thresholds, 2009|
|Individual, aged 65 or older||$10,289|
|Couple, householder aged 65 or older||$12,984|
|Family of four||$21,947|
|Percentage of population with income below poverty level, 2008|
|All ages||13.3 percent|
|Children under age 18 living in families||18.4 percent|
|Persons aged 65 or older||9.8 percent|