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National Women's Law Center Report on Social Security

The NWLC has compiled statistics on women, children, and families in each state that benefit from Social Security. The press release is here, the reports here.

For example, here is Kentucky [PDF]:


Women rely on Social Security more than men do.

  • In Kentucky, 22% of adults receive Social Security benefits, including 24% of women and 20% of men. About 380,000 women, 297,000 men and 59,000 children rely on Social Security benefits in the state. (Social Security Administration and U.S. Census Bureau)

  • Women represent 59% of all people 65 and older in Kentucky who rely on Social Securitybenefits. (Social Security Administration)
Social Security is important for the economic security of elderly women.
  • Without Social Security, 57% of elderly women in Kentucky would be poor. (Center on Budget and Policy Priorities)
Social Security is more than a worker retirement program.
  • Many Social Security recipients in Kentucky are not retired workers. They receive benefits either as the widow or widower, spouse or child of a worker, or as a disabled worker. The overwhelming majority of these 360,000 beneficiaries are women and children. (Social Security Administration)
Widows would experience enormous cuts under the leading privatization proposal.
  • The typical recipient of a Social Security widow’s benefit in Kentucky receives $780 per month ($9,360 per year). According to the Congressional Budget Office, under Plan 2 of the President’s Commission to Strengthen Social Security, today’s kindergarteners are projected to receive 45% less than they are promised under current law, even when the proceeds from their private accounts are included in the total. If such a benefit cut were to take effect currently, the typical widow in Kentucky would receive only $429 per month ($5,148 per year), an amount equal to only 60% of the poverty line. (Social Security Administration and Congressional Budget Office)
The Kentucky economy will lose a significant amount if Social Security benefits are cut.
  • In 2002, $6.9 billion flowed into the Kentucky economy through Social Security benefits. If the cuts expected under Plan 2 for today’s kindergarteners were to take effect currently, Kentucky would lose $3.1 billion per year, even including the proceeds from private accounts. This amount is equivalent to 18% of state government expenditures in fiscal year 2002 (state government expenditures include money generated from state funds, federal funds, and the sale of state bonds). (Social Security Administration, Congressional Budget Office, National Association of State Budget Officers)


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