Highlights and Trends
Social Security (Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance)
Employment and Earnings
|Workers in OASDI covered employment, 2010||156.7 million|
|Average earnings, 2010||$40,410|
|Earnings required in 2011 for—|
|1 quarter of coverage||$1,120|
|Maximum of 4 quarters of coverage||$4,480|
|Earnings test exempt amounts for 2011|
|Under full retirement age for entire year||$14,160|
|For months before reaching full retirement age in 2011||$37,680|
|Beginning with month of reaching full retirement age in 2011||Test eliminated|
|Cost-of-living adjustment for December 2010||0.0 percent|
|Average monthly benefit, December 2010|
|Widows and widowers, nondisabled||$1,134|
|Number of beneficiaries, December 2010|
|Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance||54.0 million|
|Retired workers||34.6 million|
|Widows and widowers, nondisabled||4.0 million|
|Disabled workers||8.2 million|
|Benefit payments, 2010|
|Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance||$701.6 billion|
|Old-Age and Survivors Insurance||$577.4 billion|
|Disability Insurance||$124.2 billion|
|Administrative expenses, 2010|
|Old-Age and Survivors Insurance|
|As a percentage of total benefits paid||0.6 percent|
|As a percentage of total benefits paid||2.4 percent|
- About 54.0 million persons received Social Security benefits for December 2010, an increase of 1,509,149 (2.9 percent) since December 2009. 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 34.6 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 34.0 million in 2005 to more than 37.2 million in 2010 (9.4 percent). The number of beneficiaries aged 85 or older increased at a greater rate during the 5-year period (16.7 percent), from fewer than 4.5 million in 2005 to more than 5.2 million in 2010. In 2010, about 51,000 centenarians were receiving Social Security.
- About 21.0 million women aged 65 or older received benefits for December 2010. About 9.3 million (44.0 percent) were entitled solely to a retired-worker benefit. About 6.2 million (29.4 percent) were dually entitled to a retired-worker benefit and a wife's or widow's benefit, and about 5.6 million (26.7 percent) were receiving wife's or widow's benefits only.
- More than 3.2 million children under age 18 received benefits, including 1,239,083 children of deceased workers, 1,660,196 children of disabled workers, and 309,512 children of retired workers.
- About 9.4 million persons received benefits based on disability—8,203,951 disabled workers, 949,200 disabled adult children, and 244,953 disabled widows and widowers. In addition, 160,300 spouses and 1,722,388 minor and student children of disabled workers received benefits.
- Average monthly benefits for December 2010 were $1,176 for retired workers, $1,068 for disabled workers, and $1,134 for nondisabled widows and widowers. Among retired workers, monthly benefits averaged $1,323 for men and $1,023 for women. For disabled workers, average monthly benefits were $1,191 for men and $931 for women. No cost-of-living adjustment for 2011 went into effect in December 2010.
- Average monthly family benefits for December 2010 were $2,133 for a widowed mother or father and children; $1,838 for a disabled worker, wife, and children; and $2,419 for a retired worker, wife, and children.
- Total OASDI benefit payments for calendar year 2010 were $701.6 billion. Payments from the OASI trust fund were $577.4 billion—an increase of 3.6 percent from the $557.2 billion paid in 2009.
- Benefit payments from the DI trust fund, from which benefits are paid to disabled workers, their spouses, and children, increased by 5.0 percent from $118.3 billion in 2009 to $124.2 billion in 2010.
- OASDI benefit awards in calendar year 2010 totaled 5,697,011, including 2,634,439 to retired workers, 510,140 to their spouses and children, and 902,437 to survivors of insured workers. Benefits were awarded to 1,026,988 disabled workers and to 623,007 of their spouses and children.
Supplemental Security Income
Annual Payment Adjustments
|Monthly federal benefit rate, effective January 2011|
|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 2010||$48.2 billion|
|Number of recipients, December 2010||7.9 million|
|Average benefit, December 2010||$500.69|
|Federal SSI payments|
|Benefits paid in 2010||$44.6 billion|
|Number of recipients, December 2010||7.7 million|
|Average benefit, December 2010||$478.73|
|Federally administered state supplementation|
|Benefits paid in 2010||$3.6 billion|
|Number of recipients, December 2010||2.4 million a|
|Average benefit, December 2010||$124.29|
a. Includes 2.1 million persons receiving federal SSI and state supplementation and 0.3 million persons receiving state supplementation only.
- In December 2010, 7,912,266 persons received federally administered SSI payments—235,580 more than the previous year. Of the total, 2,041,490 (25.8 percent) were aged 65 or older; 4,631,507 (58.5 percent) were blind or disabled aged 18–64; and 1,239,269 (15.7 percent) were blind or disabled under age 18.
- The number of blind or disabled aged 18–64 rose by 180,219 (4.0 percent) between December 2009 and December 2010, and the number under age 18 increased by 39,481 (3.3 percent).
- During 2010, 1,042,124 persons were awarded federally administered payments, an increase of 42,584 from the previous year. Of the 2010 awards, 731,265 went to blind or disabled recipients aged 18–64, 204,219 to those blind or disabled under age 18, and 106,640 to recipients aged 65 or older.
- Total federally administered SSI payments were $48.2 billion in 2010, up 3.2 percent from 2009. Federal SSI payments in 2010 were $44.6 billion (an increase of 4.6 percent over the previous year). Federally administered state supplementation totaled $3.6 billion.
|Total benefits paid in calendar year 2010|
|Hospital Insurance (Part A)||$244.5 billion|
|Supplementary Medical Insurance (Part B)||$271.4 billion|
|Number of enrollees in July 2010 (one or both of Parts A and B)||47.7 million|
|Administrative costs, 2010|
|As a percentage of total benefits paid||1.4 percent|
|Supplementary Medical Insurance|
|As a percentage of total benefits paid||1.3 percent|
|Medical service expenditures in fiscal year 2009||$320.8 billion|
|Number of unduplicated recipients, fiscal year 2009||62.5 million|
|Average 2009 vendor payment per unduplicated recipient|
|Persons aged 65 or older||$15,169|
|Permanently and totally disabled persons||$15,454|
|Dependent children under age 21||$2,004|
|Average 2009 vendor payment for medical services|
|Nursing facility services||$29,448|
|Inpatient general hospital care||$7,021|
Other Social Insurance Programs and Veterans' Benefits
|Total payments, 2009||$79.6 billion|
|Weekly benefit amount (regular programs)||$309.60|
|Duration of benefits||18.8 weeks|
|Weekly insured unemployment||5.7 million|
|Covered employment||126.5 million|
|Benefit payments, 2009||$58.3 billion|
|Compensation payments||$29.4 billion|
|Medical and hospitalization||$28.9 billion|
|Benefits paid by—|
|Private insurance carriers||$30.5 billion|
|State and federal funds||$13.7 billion|
|Employers' self-insurance||$14.2 billion|
|Covered workers per month||124.9 million|
|Costs as a percentage of covered payroll||1.30 percent|
Temporary Disability Insurance
|Average weekly benefit, 2008|
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||$625|
|Maximum family benefit||$1,251|
|Part B (claims filed before July 1, 1973)|
|Number of monthly benefits to miners, widows, and dependents, December 2010||25,293|
|Total benefits paid, calendar year 2010||$208.1 million|
|Part C (claims filed July 1, 1973, or later)|
|Total benefits paid, fiscal year 2010|
|Disability and survivors benefits||$206.3 million|
|Medical benefits||$31.0 million|
|Number of veterans with disability compensation or pension, 2010|
|Monthly payment in 2011 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, 2010|
|Individual, aged 65 or older||$10,458|
|Couple, householder aged 65 or older||$13,194|
|Family of four||$22,314|
|Percentage of population with income below poverty level, 2010|
|All ages||15.1 percent|
|Children under age 18 living in families||21.4 percent|
|Persons aged 65 or older||9.0 percent|