As a citizen and taxpayer of the United States, people may want to know where their tax dollars are going and how the federal government is spending them. One program, that most people are probably very familiar with, is Social Security. Social Security was created in order to help those who have retired, become disabled, and who are dependents of a deceased income provider. As money is put into the Social Security fund with every paycheck, the American people are essentially putting money into a fund that they may be able to take advantage of when they have retired, or can no longer work because of a disability. In 2012, 38 percent of the federal budget went to Social Security and Medicare combined. The following is information on Supplemental Security Income and Social Security Disability.
Supplemental Security Income
Monetary support for people who are in need is provided by the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program. People who qualify for these benefits are individuals who are older than 65, or blind or disabled adults and children. The eligibility to receive benefits from this program is the same across the nation. Over the last forty years, since payments for this program started, the number of recipients has steadily increased to nearly 8.3 million people as of December 2012. In 2009, Supplemental Security Income accounted for about 1.4 percent of the federal budget. The percentage of the gross domestic product that went to Supplemental Security Income was about 0.33 percent in 2012, and is predicted to remain level through 2014. After that, the federal government expects the percentage to slowly decline.
Social Security Disability
The Social Security Disability program was designed to monetarily support those who can no longer work, because of a disability. In order to qualify for these benefits, an individual must be unable to work for a year or more, and have paid a certain amount of taxes to the government. Approximately 8.8 million people received these disability benefits in December 2012. In 2013, tax dollars given to Social Security were the main financial providers to this program, which totals about 140 billion dollars. This year (2013), the Social Security Disability program made up about 4 percent of the federal budget. In gross domestic product, this comes to less than 1 percent.
Social Security, whether in the form of Supplement Security Income or Social Security Disability, is there to benefit those who need help with their income from month to month. Although the percentage of the federal budget that is provided to these programs seems small, the amount of people who need these benefits has increased a substantial amount over the last decade. The federal government expects these percentages to decline over the next few years.