Who benefits from Social Security and how?
With the increase in recent discussions regarding the depletion of Social Security funds, it is now more important than ever to learn about what Social Security is and who it benefits you. Social Security is a governmental program that provides financial aid to those who have little to no income. Not everyone is eligible for Social Security and many only receive it during their retirement years.
A common misconception is that only retirees receive Social Security, but this is a false misconception. There are over 60 million people who benefit from the Social Security program in the United States. Beneficiaries include retired workers, the families of retired workers, the family of deceased workers, disabled workers, and the families of disabled workers.
In 2016, more than $900 billion was dispersed to beneficiaries of the Social Security program. A large majority of the money was dispersed to retirees and their families, with the rest of the money paid to the family of deceased workers and disabled workers along with their families.
Among all the beneficiaries, both young widows and young widowers received the highest monthly income from Social Security. This group’s $9000+ monthly income is more than 6 times higher than the second highest paid beneficiaries of Social Security. This second highest group consist of retirees, who receive over $1350 in monthly income from the program. Though it may appear that both young widows and young widowers take up most of the Social Security fund, only around 130,00 people fit under this category. There are nearly 42 million retirees receiving Social Security, on the other hand.
Many people are unaware of the far reach of the Social Security program; only believing the program to benefit retirees. Upon closer examination, it is evident that the program serves many more people than just retirees. This is a little nerve-wracking, however, due to the slowly increasing number of beneficiaries and the slowly changing population.