Social Security Administration Beneficiaries Top 60,000,000

Terence P. Jeffrey | March 18, 2016 | 12:15pm EDT
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(AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

( - The number of people receiving benefits from the Social Security Administration topped 60,000,000 for the first time at the beginning of 2016.

In December 2015, according to data published by the Office of the Chief Actuary of Social Security, the Old-Age and Survivors Insurance and Disability Insurance Trust Funds paid benefits to 59,963,425 beneficiaries. In January 2016, that increased to 60,084,225, and in February 2016 to 60,199,914.

The average monthly benefit paid per beneficiary in December was $1,228.12. In January, it was $1,229.85. In February, it was $1,230.70.

The total number of beneficiaries includes retired workers and their dependents, survivors of deceased workers, and disabled workers and their dependents.

In February, there were 151,074,000 people employed in either full or part-time jobs in the United States, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ seasonally adjusted employment numbers. That means the 60,199,914 individuals receiving Social Security benefits during the month equaled 1 per each 2.5 workers.

There were 123,206,000 people employed full-time in February, according to BLS’s seasonally adjusted numbers. That equals approximately 2.05 full-time workers per each beneficiary of the Social Security Administration.

The Social Security Administration spent a record $944,143,000,000 in fiscal 2015 (Oct. 1, 2014 through Sept. 30, 2015), according to the Monthly Treasury Statement for September 2015.

In fiscal 2016, the Social Security Administration is continuing to spend at a record pace. In the first five months of the fiscal year (October 2015 through February 2016), it spent $400,078,000,000. During the same period in fiscal 2015, it spent $390,260,000,000.

The Monthly Treasury Statement for February says the budget estimate for the Social Security Administration for fiscal 2016 is $991,558,000,000—or $47,415,000,000 more than its record spending of $944,143,000,000 in fiscal 2015.

The 60,199,914 beneficiaries in February included 40,338,983 retired workers, 2,342,674 spouses of retired workers, 659,198 children of retired workers, 6,064,984 survivors of deceased workers, 8,896,604 disabled workers, 139,269 spouses of disabled workers, and 1,758,202 children of disabled workers. 

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