Highlights and Trends
Social Security (Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance)
Employment and Earnings
|Workers in OASDI covered employment, 2012||160.9 million|
|Average earnings, 2012||$42,870|
|Earnings required in 2013 for—|
|1 quarter of coverage||$1,160|
|Maximum of 4 quarters of coverage||$4,640|
|Earnings test exempt amounts for 2013|
|Under full retirement age for entire year||$15,120|
|For months before reaching full retirement age in 2013||$40,080|
|Beginning with month of reaching full retirement age in 2013||Test eliminated|
|Cost-of-living adjustment for December 2012||1.7 percent|
|Average monthly benefit, December 2012|
|Widows and widowers, nondisabled||$1,215|
|Number of beneficiaries, December 2012|
|Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance||56.8 million|
|Retired workers||36.7 million|
|Widows and widowers, nondisabled||3.9 million|
|Disabled workers||8.8 million|
|Benefit payments, 2012|
|Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance||$774.8 billion|
|Old-Age and Survivors Insurance||$637.9 billion|
|Disability Insurance||$136.9 billion|
|Administrative expenses, 2012|
|Old-Age and Survivors Insurance|
|As a percentage of total benefits paid||0.5 percent|
|As a percentage of total benefits paid||2.1 percent|
- About 56.8 million persons received Social Security benefits for December 2012, an increase of 1,353,705 (2.4 percent) since December 2011. Seventy percent were retired workers and their spouses and children, 11 percent were survivors of deceased workers, and 19 percent were disabled workers and their spouses and children.
- Seventy-three percent of the 36.7 million retired workers received reduced benefits because of entitlement prior to full retirement age. Relatively more women (76.0 percent) than men (70.9 percent) received reduced benefits.
- The number of beneficiaries aged 65 or older rose from about 35.1 million in 2007 to more than 39.5 million in 2012 (12.6 percent). The number of beneficiaries aged 85 or older increased at a greater rate during the 5-year period (13.0 percent), from about 4.8 million in 2007 to more than 5.4 million in 2012. In 2012, about 55,000 centenarians were receiving Social Security.
- About 22.2 million women aged 65 or older received benefits for December 2012. About 10.3 million (46.5 percent) were entitled solely to a retired-worker benefit. About 6.4 million (28.7 percent) were dually entitled to a retired-worker benefit and a wife's or widow's benefit, and about 5.5 million (24.9 percent) were receiving wife's or widow's benefits only.
- More than 3.2 million children under age 18 received benefits, including 1,213,164 children of deceased workers, 1,723,728 children of disabled workers, and 321,534 children of retired workers.
- About 10.1 million persons received benefits based on disability—8,826,591 disabled workers, 1,006,676 disabled adult children, and 255,472 disabled widows and widowers. In addition, 162,550 spouses and 1,787,647 minor and student children of disabled workers received benefits.
- Average monthly benefits for December 2012, including the 1.7 percent cost-of-living adjustment, were $1,262 for retired workers, $1,130 for disabled workers, and $1,215 for nondisabled widows and widowers. Among retired workers, monthly benefits averaged $1,417 for men and $1,103 for women. For disabled workers, average monthly benefits were $1,256 for men and $993 for women.
- Average monthly family benefits for December 2012 were $2,260 for a widowed mother or father and children; $1,945 for a disabled worker, wife, and children; and $2,603 for a retired worker, wife, and children.
- Total OASDI benefit payments for calendar year 2012 were $774.8 billion. Payments from the OASI trust fund were $637.9 billion—an increase of 7.0 percent from the $596.2 billion paid in 2011.
- Benefit payments from the DI trust fund, from which benefits are paid to disabled workers, their spouses, and children, increased by 6.2 percent from $128.9 billion in 2011 to $136.9 billion in 2012.
- OASDI benefit awards in calendar year 2012 totaled 5,654,668, including 2,735,007 to retired workers, 511,524 to their spouses and children, and 885,060 to survivors of insured workers. Benefits were awarded to 960,206 disabled workers and to 562,871 of their spouses and children.
Supplemental Security Income
Annual Payment Adjustments
|Monthly federal benefit rate, effective January 2013|
|Individual living in his or her own household||$710|
|Couple with both members eligible||$1,066|
|Cost-of-living adjustment||1.7 percent|
|Federally administered payments|
|Benefits paid in 2012||$52.1 billion|
|Number of recipients, December 2012||8.3 million|
|Average benefit, December 2012||$519.43|
|Federal SSI payments|
|Benefits paid in 2012||$48.8 billion|
|Number of recipients, December 2012||8.0 million|
|Average benefit, December 2012||$500.29|
|Federally administered state supplementation|
|Benefits paid in 2012||$3.3 billion|
|Number of recipients, December 2012||a 2.2 million|
|Average benefit, December 2012||$121.79|
|a. Includes 2.0 million persons receiving federal SSI and state supplementation and 0.2 million persons receiving state supplementation only.|
- In December 2012, 8,262,877 persons received federally administered SSI payments—150,104 more than the previous year. Of the total, 2,081,532 (25.2 percent) were aged 65 or older; 4,869,484 (58.9 percent) were blind or disabled aged 18–64; and 1,311,861 (15.9 percent) were blind or disabled under age 18.
- The number of blind or disabled aged 18–64 rose by 92,474 (1.9 percent) between December 2011 and December 2012, and the number under age 18 increased by 34,739 (2.7 percent).
- During 2012, 963,630 persons were awarded federally administered payments, a decrease of 67,393 from the previous year. Of the 2012 awards, 661,265 went to blind or disabled recipients aged 18–64, 190,192 to those blind or disabled under age 18, and 112,173 to recipients aged 65 or older.
- Total federally administered SSI payments were $52.1 billion in 2012, up 5.2 percent from 2011. Federal SSI payments in 2012 were $48.8 billion (an increase of 6.0 percent over the previous year). Federally administered state supplementation totaled $3.3 billion.
|Total benefits paid in calendar year 2012|
|Hospital Insurance (Part A)||$262.9 billion|
|Supplementary Medical Insurance (Part B)||$303.0 billion|
|Number of enrollees in July 2012 (one or both of Parts A and B)||50.8 million|
|Administrative costs, 2012|
|As a percentage of total benefits paid||1.5 percent|
|Supplementary Medical Insurance|
|As a percentage of total benefits paid||1.4 percent|
|Medical service expenditures in fiscal year 2010||$338.8 billion|
|Number of unduplicated recipients, fiscal year 2010||65.6 million|
|Average 2010 vendor payment per unduplicated recipient|
|Persons aged 65 or older||$15,206|
|Permanently and totally disabled persons||$15,817|
|Dependent children under age 21||$2,027|
|Average 2010 vendor payment for medical services|
|Nursing facility services||$31,686|
|Inpatient general hospital care||$7,230|
Other Social Insurance Programs and Veterans' Benefits
|Total payments, 2011||$46.6 billion|
|Weekly benefit amount (regular programs)||$295.79|
|Duration of benefits||17.5 weeks|
|Weekly insured unemployment||3.7 million|
|Covered employment||127.5 million|
|Benefit payments, 2011||$60.2 billion|
|Compensation payments||$30.3 billion|
|Medical and hospitalization||$29.9 billion|
|Benefits paid by—|
|Private insurance carriers||$32.2 billion|
|State and federal funds||$13.6 billion|
|Employers' self-insurance||$14.4 billion|
|Covered workers per month||125.8 million|
|Costs as a percentage of covered payroll||1.27 percent|
Temporary Disability Insurance
|Average weekly benefit, 2010|
|NOTE: Programs in effect in California, Hawaii, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Puerto Rico, and the railroad industry.|
Black Lung Benefits
|Basic monthly benefit to miner or widow||$625|
|Maximum monthly family benefit||$1,251|
|Part B (claims filed before July 1, 1973)|
|Number of monthly benefits to miners, widows, and dependents, December 2012||19,490|
|Total benefits paid, calendar year 2012||$160.8 million|
|Part C (claims filed July 1, 1973, or later)|
|Total benefits paid, fiscal year 2012|
|Disability and survivors benefits||$179.5 million|
|Medical benefits||$30.7 million|
|Number of veterans with disability compensation or pension, 2012|
|Monthly payment in 2013 for—|
|10 percent disability||$129|
|Nonservice-connected disability (maximum payment)|
|With one dependent and in need of aid and attendance||$2,054|
|Weighted average poverty thresholds, 2012|
|Individual, aged 65 or older||$11,011|
|Couple, householder aged 65 or older||$13,892|
|Family of four||$23,492|
|Percentage of population with income below poverty level, 2012|
|All ages||15.0 percent|
|Children under age 18 living in families||21.2 percent|
|Persons aged 65 or older||9.1 percent|