In 2012, new or changed benefits were awarded to approximately 5.65 million people.
Disabled workers (1,523,000 people) received 17 percent of those awards, while their spouses and children received 10 percent of the awards. A total of 48 percent were retired workers and 9 percent those workers’ dependents.
Survivors of deceased workers comprised 16 percent of the new awards.
According to the Social Security Administration, in its recently issued “Fast Facts & Figures about Social Security, 2013,” “these awards represent not only new entrants to the benefit rolls but also personals already on the rolls who become entitled to a different benefit, particularly conversions of disabled-workers benefits to retired-worker benefits at full retirement age.”
And as of December 2012, more than 56 million people were currently receiving benefits. Of that, 65 percent were retired workers and 15 percent were disabled workers. A total of 9 percent were spouses and children of retired and disabled workers, and 11 percent were survivors of deceased workers.
Disabled workers received an average benefit of $1,130 a month; new awards averaged $1,204 monthly.
See the chart below for a breakdown of current beneficiaries, as of December 2012.