BOSTON (CBS) – According to the latest data I found almost 60 million Americans are receiving Social Security benefits totaling $870 billion. Of that number 43 million are receiving retirement benefits, 11 million are disabled workers and their dependents and 6 million are receiving survivor benefits, these are widows or widowers and their children under 18.

Social Security is the major source of income for many of our elderly. It truly is “old age insurance”.

  • Nine out of ten individuals age 65 and older receive Social Security benefits.
  • Among elderly beneficiaries, over 50% (53) of married couples and almost 75% (74) of individuals receive 50% or more of their income from Social Security.
  • For some elderly Social Security beneficiaries, 22% of married couples and about 47% of unmarried individuals rely on Social Security for 90% or more of their income.

Social Security provides more than just retirement benefits.

  • Retired workers and their dependents account for 72% of total benefits paid.
  • Disabled workers and their dependents account for 18% of total benefits paid.
    • About 90% of workers age 21-64 and their families have protection in the event of a long-term disability.
    • 1 in 4 of today’s 20 year-olds will become disabled before reaching age 67.
    • 69% of the private sector workforce has no long-term disability insurance.
  • Survivors of deceased workers account for about 10% of total benefits paid.
    • About one in eight of today’s 20-year-olds will die before reaching age 67.
    • About 96% of persons aged 20-49 who worked in covered employment have survivor’s insurance protection for their young children and the surviving spouse caring for the children.

An estimated 165 million workers are covered under Social Security.

  • 51% of the workforce has no private pension coverage.
  • 34% of the workforce has no savings set aside specifically for retirement.

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