Social Security provides vital life insurance and disability insurance protection for millions of Americans, particularly children and their families. For nearly 75-years now, Social Security has operated as a family insurance program that serves and benefits individuals of all ages. In addition to its well known, and often debated, role as a retirement program, Social Security provides a safety net for more than 53-million Americans, including retirees, the disabled, children and families. Last week, we wrote of its essential role in the lives of the orphans, and widows, and widowers, of our fallen military.
The truth is that more than 6.5-million children under age 18, or nearly 9% of all children in the United States,benefit from Social Security, as dependents of workers or military who have died or become disabled, or as dependents in households where an adult relies on Social Security. Of those 6.5-million children, fully 1.3-million were lifted out of poverty by Social Security benefits.
Over 2.4-million American grandparents are now raising their grandchildren. In these instances, Social Security works to ensure that America's children are kept safe and secure by providing a source of income for older Americans who are raising their grandchildren. These children do not receive Social Security directly, BUT! they do benefit directly from the program because of the increase in income of the grandparent who is receiving Social Security. In fact, it is estimated that 44% of older Americans, including such grandparents, would be considered poor by federal poverty standards if they did not receive these necessary and critical Social Security benefits.