Although it is most often associated with retirement benefits and the elderly, Social Security is also the nation’s largest children’s program, insuring about 98 percent of children against the loss of support in the event of the death or serious and permanent disability of a working parent, and providing benefits to dependent children and grandchildren of retired workers as well. These protections are significant: a 30-year-old worker with a spouse and two children, earning $30,000 a year, has earned the equivalent of roughly $550,000 in life insurance protections, and roughly $580,000 in disability insurance protections.  Social Security benefits are especially critical for the 11.6 percent of America’s children who either receive benefits directly or live in households where part of the family income is provided by Social Security. And Social Security, always the strongest source of retirement income, will become increasingly important for today’s children as they age, due to a looming retirement income crisis. Social Security should not only be protected for our nation’s children; it should be expanded.

Social Security Works for Children