Social Security and Disability Payments Hit Annual Records—With Month Left in FY

By Terence P. Jeffrey | September 13, 2012 | 5:15pm EDT

(AP Photo)

( - By the end of August, according to data released Thursday by the U.S. Treasury, the federal government had already paid out record annual amounts in both Social Security and disability benefits during fiscal 2012—even though there was still a month left in the year.

In fiscal 2011--which ended on Sept. 30, 2011—the federal government paid a total of $591.492 billion in benefits from the Old Age and Survivors Insurance Trust Fund, according to the Monthly Treasury Statement (MTS) for September 2011.

Through just the end of August of this year, according to the MTS, the federal government had paid $594.643 in benefits from the Old Age and Survivors Insurance Trust Fund.

That means the government had paid $3.151 billion more in Social Security benefits in just the first eleven months of this fiscal year than it paid in all of fiscal 2011.

The $591.492 billion in Social Security benefits the government paid out last year was, up until then, the most the most the government had ever been paid in Social Security benefits in any fiscal year since the Social Security program started paying benefits in 1940.

In fiscal 2010, for example, the government paid a total of $572.531 billion in Social Security benefits, according to the MTS. In fiscal 2009, it paid 544.601 billion; in fiscal 2008, $502.993 billion; and in fiscal 2007, $479.747 billion.

Payments for federal disability insurance benefits have undergone similar growth, and also hit an all-time annual record in just the first 11 months of fiscal 2012.

Through the end of August, the federal government had paid $129.126 billion in benefits from the federal disability insurance trust fund. Through all of fiscal 2011, the government paid only $128.094 in disability benefits.

In just the first eleven months of fiscal 2012, the federal government has paid $1.032 billion more in disability benefits than it did in all of fiscal 2011.

In fiscal 2010, the government spent $123.038 on disability benefits; in fiscal 2009, it was $115.086 billion; in fiscal 2008, it was $104.328 billion; and in fiscal 2007, $97.061.

In August, according to the Social Security Administration, there were a record 8,767,941 American workers collecting federal disability payments, and also 2,018,569 spouses and children of disabled workers collecting benefits. Additionally, in August, there were a record 45,505,287 retired workers, their spouses and dependents receiving Social Security benefits.

That made for a record 56,291,797 people in the United States in August taking Social Security or disability benefits. That was up from the previous record of 56,188,736 set in July.

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