Highlights and Trends
Social Security (Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance)
Employment and Earnings
|Workers in OASDI covered employment, 2014||165.6 million|
|Average earnings, 2014||$45,017|
|Earnings required in 2015 for—|
|1 quarter of coverage||$1,220|
|Maximum of 4 quarters of coverage||$4,880|
|Earnings test exempt amounts for 2015|
|Under full retirement age for entire year||$15,720|
|For months before reaching full retirement age in 2015||$41,880|
|Beginning with month of reaching full retirement age in 2015||Test eliminated|
|Cost-of-living adjustment for December 2014||1.7 percent|
|Average monthly benefit, December 2014|
|Widows and widowers, nondisabled||$1,276|
|Number of beneficiaries, December 2014|
|Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance||59.0 million|
|Retired workers||39.0 million|
|Widows and widowers, nondisabled||3.8 million|
|Disabled workers||9.0 million|
|Benefit payments, 2014|
|Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance||$848.5 billion|
|Old-Age and Survivors Insurance||$706.8 billion|
|Disability Insurance||$141.7 billion|
|Administrative expenses, 2014|
|Old-Age and Survivors Insurance|
|As a percentage of total benefits paid||0.4 percent|
|As a percentage of total benefits paid||2.1 percent|
- About 59.0 million persons received Social Security benefits for December 2014, an increase of 1,028,548 (1.8 percent) since December 2013. Seventy-one percent were retired workers and their spouses and children, 10 percent were survivors of deceased workers, and 19 percent were disabled workers and their spouses and children.
- Seventy-two percent of the 39.0 million retired workers received reduced benefits because of entitlement prior to full retirement age. Relatively more women (74.8 percent) than men (69.6 percent) received reduced benefits.
- The number of beneficiaries aged 65 or older rose from about 36.5 million in 2009 to almost 42.0 million in 2014 (15.0 percent). The number of beneficiaries aged 85 or older increased at a lesser rate during the 5-year period (9.5 percent), from about 5.1 million in 2009 to almost 5.6 million in 2014. In 2014, about 60,000 centenarians were receiving Social Security.
- About 23.4 million women aged 65 or older received benefits for December 2014. About 11.5 million (49.1 percent) were entitled solely to a retired-worker benefit. About 6.5 million (27.8 percent) were dually entitled to a retired-worker benefit and a wife's or widow's benefit, and about 5.4 million (23.2 percent) were receiving wife's or widow's benefits only.
- Almost 3.2 million children under age 18 received benefits, including 1,188,333 children of deceased workers, 1,650,364 children of disabled workers, and 327,665 children of retired workers.
- About 10.3 million persons received benefits based on disability—8,954,518 disabled workers, 1,048,879 disabled adult children, and 257,871 disabled widows and widowers. In addition, 148,955 spouses and 1,707,999 minor and student children of disabled workers received benefits.
- Average monthly benefits for December 2014, including the 1.7 percent cost-of-living adjustment, were $1,329 for retired workers, $1,165 for disabled workers, and $1,276 for nondisabled widows and widowers. Among retired workers, monthly benefits averaged $1,488 for men and $1,167 for women. For disabled workers, average monthly benefits were $1,290 for men and $1,032 for women.
- Average monthly family benefits for December 2014 were $2,340 for a widowed mother or father and children; $2,008 for a disabled worker, wife, and children; and $2,747 for a retired worker, wife, and children.
- Total OASDI benefit payments for calendar year 2014 were $848.5 billion. Payments from the OASI trust fund were $706.8 billion—an increase of 5.2 percent from the $672.1 billion paid in 2013.
- Benefit payments from the DI trust fund, from which benefits are paid to disabled workers, their spouses, and children, increased by 1.1 percent from $140.1 billion in 2013 to $141.7 billion in 2014.
- OASDI benefit awards in calendar year 2014 totaled 5,361,293, including 2,771,933 to retired workers, 519,464 to their spouses and children, and 854,978 to survivors of insured workers. Benefits were awarded to 778,796 disabled workers and to 436,122 of their spouses and children.
Supplemental Security Income
Annual Payment Adjustments
|Monthly federal benefit rate, effective January 2015|
|Individual living in his or her own household||$733|
|Couple with both members eligible||$1,100|
|Cost-of-living adjustment||1.7 percent|
|Federally administered payments|
|Benefits paid in 2014||$54.7 billion|
|Number of recipients, December 2014||8.3 million|
|Average benefit, December 2014||$532.08|
|Federal SSI payments|
|Benefits paid in 2014||$51.6 billion|
|Number of recipients, December 2014||8.2 million|
|Average benefit, December 2014||$516.62|
|Federally administered state supplementation|
|Benefits paid in 2014||$3.1 billion|
|Number of recipients, December 2014||a 1.5 million|
|Average benefit, December 2014||$141.55|
|a. Includes almost 1.4 million persons receiving federal SSI and state supplementation and almost 0.2 million persons receiving state supplementation only.|
- In December 2014, 8,335,704 persons received federally administered SSI payments—27,773 fewer than the previous year. Of the total, 2,122,871 (25.5 percent) were aged 65 or older; 4,913,072 (58.9 percent) were blind or disabled aged 18–64; and 1,299,761 (15.6 percent) were blind or disabled under age 18.
- The number of blind or disabled aged 18–64 declined by 3,200 (0.1 percent) between December 2013 and December 2014, and the number under age 18 declined by 21,920 (1.7 percent).
- During 2014, 805,643 persons were awarded federally administered payments, a decrease of 106,600 from the previous year. Of the 2014 awards, 538,268 went to blind or disabled recipients aged 18–64, 157,310 to those blind or disabled under age 18, and 110,065 to recipients aged 65 or older.
- Total federally administered SSI payments were $54.7 billion in 2014, up 1.5 percent from 2013. Federal SSI payments in 2014 were $51.6 billion (an increase of 1.9 percent over the previous year). Federally administered state supplementation totaled $3.1 billion.
|Total benefits paid in calendar year 2014|
|Hospital Insurance (Part A)||$264.9 billion|
|Supplementary Medical Insurance (Part B)||$339.6 billion|
|Number of enrollees in July 2014 (one or both of Parts A and B)||54.1 million|
|Administrative costs, 2014|
|As a percentage of total benefits paid||1.7 percent|
|Supplementary Medical Insurance|
|As a percentage of total benefits paid||1.3 percent|
|Medical service expenditures in fiscal year 2013||$381.8 billion|
|Number of unduplicated recipients, fiscal year 2013||73.7 million|
|Average 2013 vendor payment per unduplicated recipient|
|Persons aged 65 or older||$15,104|
|Permanently and totally disabled persons||$16,030|
|Dependent children under age 21||$3,498|
|Average 2013 vendor payment for medical services|
|Nursing facility services||$27,585|
|Inpatient general hospital care||$3,897|
Other Social Insurance Programs and Veterans' Benefits
|Total payments, 2013||$38.8 billion|
|Weekly benefit amount (regular programs)||$309.87|
|Duration of benefits||16.9 weeks|
|Weekly insured unemployment||2.9 million|
|Covered employment||132.1 million|
|Benefit payments, 2013||$63.6 billion|
|Compensation payments||$32.0 billion|
|Medical and hospitalization||$31.5 billion|
|Benefits paid by—|
|Private insurance carriers||$35.3 billion|
|State and federal funds||$13.3 billion|
|Employers' self-insurance||$15.0 billion|
|Covered workers per month||129.6 million|
|Costs as a percentage of covered payroll||1.37 percent|
Temporary Disability Insurance
|Average weekly benefit, 2012|
|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||$638|
|Maximum monthly family benefit||$1,276|
|Part B (claims filed on or before December 31, 1973)|
|Number of monthly benefits to miners, widows, and dependents, December 2014||14,946|
|Total benefits paid, calendar year 2014||$117.6 million|
|Part C (claims filed after December 31, 1973)|
|Total benefits paid, fiscal year 2014|
|Disability and survivors benefits||$153.7 million|
|Medical benefits||$26.1 million|
|Number of veterans with disability compensation or pension, 2014|
|Monthly payment in 2015 for—|
|10 percent disability||$133|
|Nonservice-connected disability (maximum payment)|
|With one dependent and in need of aid and attendance||$2,198|
|Weighted average poverty thresholds, 2014|
|Individual, aged 65 or older||$11,354|
|Couple, householder aged 65 or older||$14,326|
|Family of four||$24,230|
|Percentage of population with income below poverty level, 2014|
|All ages||14.8 percent|
|Children under age 18 living in families||20.7 percent|
|Persons aged 65 or older||10.0 percent|