Social Security pays more benefits to children than any other federal program with more than 6.5 million children receiving part of their family income from Social Security through survivors, retirement, and disability benefits. It provides near universal support for children, covering 98 percent of all children in the event of the death or disability of a caregiver. Because it provides such critical protection for America’s families, Generations United strongly opposes any effort to weaken or dismantle Social Security. Generations United recommends strengthening and improving the adequacy of Social Security to meet its obligations for current and future beneficiaries.
Benefits for All
Social Security is far more than a retirement program. It provides vital protections for families spans all ages, from infants to retirees. Almost one third of the more than 50 million people who receive Social Security benefits today are younger than age 65. Today more than 6.5 million children in the United States receive part of their family income from Social Security through survivors, retirement, and disability benefits. Social Security pays more benefits to children than any other federal program. In the event of death or disability of a caregiver, it covers 98 percent of all children.
Social Security Protects Children and Families
- 3.1 million children younger than 18 receive Social Security benefits as dependents of deceased, disabled or retired workers.
- While not receiving benefits themselves, 3.4 million children younger than 18 live in households in which at least one relative receives Social Security benefits to meet their needs.
- Among children in families who received Social Security, approximately 42 percent, or more than 2.7 million children, would have been considered poor based on family income other than Social Security. With the additional benefits, the poverty rate among these children is reduced to 22.5 percent, or than 1.5 million.
Social Security Must Be Strengthened
People of all ages have a stake in the outcome of debates about reforming Social Security. The current financial crisis has spurred strong public support for Social Security. As the dialogue about how to achieve long-term solvency for Social Security continues, policymakers must consider how reform will affect families and people of all ages.
The Lost Social Security Benefit for Students (PDF)
Social Security: What’s at Stake for Children, Youth, and Grandfamilies (PDF)
The Benefits of Social Security for Grandfamilies (PDF)
The Benefits of Social Security for Children (PDF)
Children and Families Have a Stake in Social Security (PDF)
National Academy of Social Insurance
Social Security Matters