Social Security

Social Security, or Old Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance (OASDI), as it is formally known, is the United States’ primary income insurance system. It replaces part of a worker's income in case of retirement, disability, or death of the worker. Both workers and their dependents can be eligible to receive retirement, disability, and life insurance benefits. This entry discusses the benefits, revenue, and trust funds associated with Social Security.


The data on beneficiaries reflect Social Security's insurance role. In 2007, the last year for which data are available, close to 50 million people received a benefit check from Social Security. Only about half of these beneficiaries—50.4% to be exact—collected their own retirement benefits. Another 9 million beneficiaries—workers and their families—received disability checks and an additional 6 ...

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