- About 3.1 million spouses, former spouses and dependent children of retirees.
- More than 5.9 million widows and widowers, former spouses, children and (occasionally) parents of wage earners who have died.
- Disabled persons of all ages and their spouses and children. Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) goes to some 8.5 million disabled workers and more than 1.5 million members of their families.
Here are a few more key Social Security stats as of October 2019:
- Nearly 64 million people are drawing retirement, disability, family or survivor benefits from Social Security, totaling almost $87 billion a month.
- About 6.3 percent of those beneficiaries are children. Social Security pays more benefits to children than any other program of the federal government.
- Nearly 8.1 million people are receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI), cash assistance to low-income people who are over 65, blind or disabled. SSI is administered but not paid for by the Social Security Administration.
This article was originally published on October 10, 2018. It was updated with more recent Social Security statistics on November 22, 2019.