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Population Profiles

  1. Child Beneficiaries
    & Poverty
  2. Fully Insured
  3. Marital Status
    & Poverty
  4. Middle Class
  5. Never
  6. Taxable Maximum
  7. Veteran

Child Beneficiaries a & Poverty

Released: March 2015
  • At the end of 2013, 3.2 million children received Social Security benefits, about 6 percent of all beneficiaries. b
  • Without Social Security benefits, more than twice as many child beneficiaries (approximately 750,000 children) would be living below the poverty level.
  • Social Security is a major source of income for children whose insured parents die, become disabled, or retire.
Poverty Rates With and Without Social Security Benefits, 2009
Bar chart. First bar shows With Social Security benefits, 14.0%. Remaining three bars show Without Social Security benefits. Excluding child benefits, 25.5%. Excluding adult benefits, 26.7%. Excluding adult and child benefits, 38.2%.
Average Percentage of Family Income from Social Security, 2009
Bar chart linked to data in table format.
SOURCE: Social Security Administration (SSA) calculations of 2009 Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) data matched to SSA administrative data (most recent data available).
NOTE: Methodology adopted from Tamborini, Christopher R., and Emily Cupito. 2012. “Social Insurance and Children: The Relationship Between Social Security, Economic Well-Being, and Family Context among Child Recipients.” Journal of Children and Poverty, 18(1): 1–22.
a. Minor children of insured workers, excludes disabled adult children and students.
b. Social Security Administration, Annual Statistical Supplement, 2014, Table 5.A6.