Social Security helps not only older Americans, but also workers who become disabled and families in which a spouse or parent dies. Today, about 162 million people work and pay Social Security taxes and more than 51 million people receive monthly Social Security benefits. In 2008 alone, those benefits came to about $614 billion.
In one way or another, Social Security benefits everyone. The payments made to beneficiaries help individuals and families to stay afloat. But Social Security goes beyond that. In many areas across the nation, Social Security is essential to keeping the economy going. Take, for example, Siskiyou County in Northern California. Nearly 20 percent of the entire economy comes from Social Security. About 30 percent of the population receives Social Security or SSI benefits.
In Siskiyou County and other counties around the nation, the benefits paid don’t stop at helping the beneficiaries who depend on them. These people spend their benefit payments at the local grocery store, the local clothing stores, department stores, and mom-and-pop shops. Benefits are used to pay for goods and services that sustain the local economy.
It’s no coincidence that Social Security finds its origins in another financial crisis: the Great Depression. The program played a part in that recovery. There’s no denying that it’s playing a part in helping the current economy as well.
It’s clear that in one way or another, Social Security benefits everyone.
To learn more about Social Security, visit www.socialsecurity.gov.