Chapter 1: Social Security

Social Security Introduction and Overview

Introduction

Social Security is a self-financed program that provides monthly cash benefits to retired or disabled workers and their family members, and to the family members of deceased workers.  The program is authorized under Title II of the Social Security Act and administered by the Social Security Administration (SSA).  (SSA also administers the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program authorized under Title XVI of the Social Security Act. See Section 3 of the Green Book for a discussion of SSI, a means-tested program for the aged, blind, or disabled.)  As of July 2014, there were almost 59 million Social Security beneficiaries. Of those, almost 42 million were retired workers and family members, almost 11 million were disability beneficiaries, and about 6 million were survivors of deceased workers.[1]

Social Security is financed primarily by payroll taxes paid by covered workers and their employers.  In 2014, an estimated 165 million workers are covered by Social Security.[2]  Employees and employers each pay 6.2% of covered earnings up to an annual limit ($117,000 in 2014); self-employed individuals pay 12.4% of net self-employment income up to an annual limit ($117,000 in 2014).[3]  Self-employed persons may deduct one-half of their Social Security payroll taxes for federal income tax purposes.[4]  Social Security is also credited with tax revenues from the federal income taxes paid by some beneficiaries on a portion of their benefits, reimbursements from the general fund of the U.S. Treasury that are made for a variety of purposes, and interest earned on Social Security trust fund assets.  Social Security income and outgo are accounted for in two separate trust funds authorized under Title II of the Social Security Act: the Federal Old-Age and Survivors Insurance (OASI) Trust Fund and the Federal Disability Insurance (DI) Trust Fund.[5]  As the Managing Trustee of the Social Security trust funds, the Secretary of the Treasury is required by law to invest Social Security revenues in interest-bearing federal government securities (special issues) held by the trust funds.[6]  The revenues exchanged for the federal government securities are deposited into the general fund of the U.S. Treasury and are indistinguishable from revenues in the general fund that come from other sources.  Funds needed to pay Social Security benefits and administrative expenses come from the redemption or sale of federal government securities held by the trust funds.[7]

In 2013, the Social Security trust funds had total income of $855 billion, total expenditures of $823 billion and accumulated holdings of $2.8 trillion.[8]  Because the assets held by the trust funds are federal government securities, the trust fund balance ($2.8 trillion at the end of 2013) represents the amount of money owed to the Social Security trust funds by the general fund of the U.S. Treasury.

Origins and Brief History of Social Security

Title II of the original Social Security Act of 1935[9] established a national plan designed to provide economic security for the nation’s workers. The system of Old-Age Insurance it created provided benefits to individuals who were aged 65 or older and who had “earned” retirement benefits through work in jobs covered by the system.  Benefits were to be financed by a payroll tax paid by employees and employers on wages up to a base amount ($3,000 per year at the time). Monthly benefits were to be based on cumulative wages in covered jobs.  The law related the amount of the benefit to the amount of a worker’s wages covered by the program, but the formula was weighted to give a greater return, on payroll taxes paid, to low-wage earners.  Before the Old-Age Insurance program was in full operation, the Social Security Amendments of 1939[10] shifted the emphasis of Social Security from protection of the individual worker to protection of the family by extending monthly cash benefits to the dependents and survivors of workers. The program now provided Old-Age and Survivors Insurance (OASI).

During the decades that followed, changes to the Social Security program were mainly ones of expansion.  Coverage of workers became nearly universal (the largest groups remaining outside the system today are state and local government employees who have not chosen to join the system and federal employees who were hired before 1984).  In 1956, Congress established the Disability Insurance (DI) program.[11]  Over the years, there were increases in the payroll tax rate, which increased from 2.0% of pay (1.0% each for employees and employers) in the 1937-1949 period to its current level of 12.4%.[12]  In addition, there were increases in the amount of wages subject to the payroll tax (the taxable wage base), which increased from $3,000 in the 1937-1950 period to its current level of $117,000.[13]  The types of individuals eligible for benefits were expanded over the years,[14] and benefit levels were increased periodically.  In 1972, legislation provided that when inflation occurred, benefits would increase automatically each year by the same percentage as the cost-of-living (effective in 1975).[15]

Beginning in the late 1970s, legislative action regarding Social Security became more concentrated on solving persistent financing problems. Legislation enacted in 1977 raised taxes and curtailed future benefit growth in an effort to shore up the system’s finances.[16]  Still, in 1982, the OASI trust fund needed to borrow assets from the DI trust fund and the Medicare Hospital Insurance trust fund (borrowed amounts were fully repaid by 1986).  In 1983, Congress passed additional major legislation that was projected to restore solvency to the Social Security system on average over the 75-year projection period.  Current projections by the Social Security Board of Trustees show that the Social Security system has a long-range funding shortfall.  These projections, and other factors, have focused attention on potential Social Security program changes in the future.

Social Security Benefits

Social Security provides monthly cash benefits to retired or disabled workers and to the family members of retired, disabled or deceased workers.  To be eligible for a Social Security retired-worker benefit, a person generally needs a minimum of 40 earnings credits (i.e., 10 years of Social Security-covered employment), among other requirements.[17]  A worker’s initial monthly benefit payable at the full retirement age (known as the primary insurance amount or PIA) is based on his or her career-average earnings (using the highest 35 years of earnings) and a progressive benefit formula designed to provide a higher replacement rate for lower-wage workers compared to higher-wage workers.[18]  A person may claim Social Security retired-worker benefits as early as age 62; however, benefits claimed before the full retirement age (FRA) are reduced permanently to take into account the longer expected period of benefit receipt.  The FRA ranges from 65 to 67, depending on the person’s year of birth.  If a person claims benefits after he or she attains the full retirement age (up to age 70), benefits are increased to take into account the shorter expected period of benefit receipt.  In addition to benefit adjustments based on early or delayed retirement, other adjustments may apply such as those based on simultaneous entitlement to more than one type of Social Security benefit.

For Social Security disability benefits, “disability” is defined as the inability to engage in substantial gainful activity by reason of a medically determinable physical or mental impairment expected to result in death or last at least 12 months.  Generally, the worker must be unable to do any kind of work that exists in the national economy, taking into account age, education and work experience. As noted above, a worker generally needs a minimum of 40 quarters of coverage for a Social Security retired-worker benefit.  A worker may qualify for Social Security disabled-worker benefits with fewer quarters of coverage, depending on the age at which the worker became disabled. However, a minimum of six quarters of coverage are needed.  Similarly, while the worker’s 35 highest years of earnings are used to compute a retired-worker benefit, fewer years of earnings may be used to compute a disabled-worker benefit.  A disabled worker’s benefit is not reduced for entitlement before the full retirement age.

Benefits for the Worker’s Family Members

Social Security is sometimes viewed narrowly as a program that provides benefits only to retired or disabled workers.  However, about 19% of current Social Security beneficiaries are dependents and survivors of retired, disabled or deceased workers.[19]

Social Security benefits are payable to the spouse, divorced spouse, or child of a retired or disabled worker.  Benefits are also payable to the widow(er), divorced widow(er), child or parent of a deceased worker.  In addition, in the case of a deceased worker, benefits are payable to the mother or father of a deceased worker’s child when the child is under age 16 or disabled and entitled to a Social Security child’s benefit based on the worker’s record.  Benefits payable to family members are equal to a specified percentage of the worker’s PIA, subject to a maximum family benefit amount.  For example, the spouse of a retired worker may receive up to 50% of the retired worker’s PIA, and the widow(er) of a deceased worker may receive up to 100% of the deceased worker’s PIA.  Benefits paid to family members may be subject to adjustments based on the person’s age at entitlement, the person’s receipt of a Social Security benefit based on his or her own work record, and other factors.

Chapter Overview

This chapter of the Green Book includes a series of Congressional Research Service (CRS) Reports organized under the following general headings:

·         History of Social Security;

·         Overview of Social Security;

·         Social Security Financing and the Trust Funds;

·         Social Security Benefits and Eligibility;

·         Social Security Disability Insurance; and

·         Program Administration and Administrative Funding.

Readers should consult the reports listed under each of these headings for information and data related to these topics.  Separate sections provide a list of Tables and Figures included in these CRS reports, as well as Additional Tables and Figures related to Social Security, followed by a Legislative History and Links to Additional Resources.

This page was prepared on August 29, 2014, for the 2014 version of the House Ways and Means Committee Green Book.


[1] Social Security Administration (SSA), Monthly Statistical Snapshot, July 2014, Table 2. The latest edition of the Monthly Statistical Snapshot is available at https://www.socialsecurity.gov/policy/docs/quickfacts/stat_snapshot/.

[2] Currently, 93% of workers in paid employment or self employment are covered by Social Security. SSA, 2014 Social Security/SSI/Medicare Information, January 14, 2014, https://www.socialsecurity.gov/legislation/2014factsheet.pdf.

[3] The annual limit on covered wages and net self-employment income subject to the Social Security payroll tax (the taxable wage base) is adjusted annually based on average wage growth, if a Social Security cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) is payable.

[4] Self-employed individuals are required to pay Social Security payroll taxes if they have annual net earnings of $400 or more.  Only 92.35% of net self-employment income (up to the annual limit) is taxable.

[5] The OASI and DI trust funds are referred to on a combined basis as the Social Security trust funds.

[6] Social Security Act, Title II, §201(d) [42 U.S.C. §401(d)].

[7] SSA, Trust Fund FAQshttps://www.socialsecurity.gov/​OACT/​ProgData/​fundFAQ.html.

[8] In 2013, 85% of Social Security’s total income was from payroll taxes, 12% was from interest earned on trust fund assets, 2% was from federal income taxes paid on benefits, and the remainder was from general fund reimbursements to the trust funds for a variety of purposes.  Of total expenditures, 99% was for benefit payments; the remainder was for administrative expenses and transfers to the Railroad Retirement program.  See Social Security Administration, Office of the Chief Actuary, at https://www.socialsecurity.gov/OACT/STATS/table4a3.html.

[9] Public Law 271, 74th Congress.

[10] Public Law 379, 76th Congress.

[11] The DI program was established by the Social Security Amendments of 1956 (Public Law 880, 84th Congress).  The program became known as the Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance (OASDI) program, the formal name for Social Security.

[12] Congress has increased the Social Security payroll tax rate many times over the program’s history. The payroll tax rate under current law (12.4%) was established by the Social Security Amendments of 1983 (Public Law 98-21).  Public Law 98-21 increased the payroll tax rate gradually from 11.4% in 1984 to 12.4% in 1990.

[13] The most recent legislative change to the Social Security taxable wage base was in 1977.  The Social Security Amendments of 1977 (Public Law 95-216) established ad-hoc increases in the taxable wage base for 1979, 1980 and 1981, followed by a return to automatic wage indexation for 1982 and subsequent years.

[14] For example, the Social Security Amendments of 1965 (Public Law 89-97) established benefits for divorced wives aged 62 or older.

[15] The Social Security Amendments of 1972 (Public Law 92-603) established automatic annual cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) for benefits already in payment.  Social Security COLAs are based on inflation as measured by the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) using a formula specified by law.

[16] See the Social Security Amendments of 1977 (Public Law 95-216).

[17] A worker may earn a maximum of four earnings credits (or quarters of coverage, QCs) per calendar year. In 2014, a worker obtains one QC for each $1,200 of covered earnings, up to a maximum of four QCs for earnings of $4,800 or more.  A person may receive retired-worker benefits and continue to have earnings from work. If the person is below the full retirement age, however, the current earnings may cause all or part of the person’s benefit to be withheld under the Retirement Earnings Test. 

[18] Replacement rates can be measured in different ways; stated generally, replacement rates show a worker’s initial benefit as a percentage of his or her pre-retirement earnings.

[19] SSA, Monthly Statistical Snapshot, July 2014, Table 2. The latest edition of the Monthly Statistical Snapshot is available at https://www.socialsecurity.gov/policy/docs/quickfacts/stat_snapshot/.

 

This page was prepared on August 29, 2014, for the 2014 version of the House Ways and Means Committee Green Book.

Social Security Congressional Research Service (CRS) Reports

The House Ways and Means Committee is making available selected reports by the Congressional Research Service (CRS) for inclusion in its 2014 Green Book website.  CRS works exclusively for the United States Congress, providing policy and legal analysis to Committees and Members of both the House and Senate, regardless of party affiliation.  Certain CRS reports with cover dates earlier than 2014 are included here because their contents remain current.

History of Social Security

RL30920: Social Security: Major Decisions in the House and Senate Since 1935

Overview of Social Security

R42035: Social Security Primer

Social Security Financing and the Trust Funds

RL33028: Social Security: The Trust Fund

RS20607: Social Security: Trust Fund Investment Practices

R43318: Social Security Disability Insurance (DI) Trust Fund: Background and Solvency Issues

RL33514: Social Security: What Would Happen If the Trust Funds Ran Out?

Social Security Benefits and Eligibility

R43542: How Social Security Benefits Are Computed: In Brief

R41962: The Social Security Retirement Age: In Brief

RS22294: Social Security Survivors Benefits

R43637: Social Security: The Lump-Sum Death Benefit

R43615: Social Security: Minimum Benefits

94-803: Social Security: Cost-of-Living Adjustments

98-35: Social Security: The Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP)

RL32453: Social Security: The Government Pension Offset (GPO)

RL32552: Social Security: Calculation and History of Taxing Benefits

Social Security Disability Insurance

RL32279: Primer on Disability Benefits: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

R43370: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI): Becoming Insured, Calculating Benefit Payments, and the Effect of Dropout Year Provisions

R41289: Disability Benefits Available Under the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Veterans Disability Compensation (VDC) Programs

R43471: Concurrent Receipt of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Unemployment Insurance (UI): Background and Legislative Proposals in the 113th Congress

RS20479: Social Security: Substantial Gainful Activity for the Blind

RS22220: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI): The Five-Month Waiting Period for Benefits

RL33585: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) Demonstration Projects

R41934: Ticket to Work and Self-Sufficiency Program: Overview and Current Issues

Program Administration and Administrative Funding

R41716: Social Security Administration (SSA): Budget Issues

RL30318: The Social Security Number: Legal Developments Affecting its Collection, Disclosure, and Confidentiality

This page was prepared on August 29, 2014, for the 2014 version of the House Ways and Means Committee Green Book.

AttachmentSize
  • RL30920: Social Security: Major Decisions in the House and Senate Since 1935 »
  • 1.33 MB
  • R42035: Social Security Primer »
  • 302.86 KB
  • RL33028: Social Security: The Trust Fund »
  • 751.94 KB
  • R43318: Social Security Disability Insurance (DI) Trust Fund: Background and Solvency Issues »
  • 816.65 KB
  • RL33514: Social Security: What Would Happen If the Trust Funds Ran Out? »
  • 625.91 KB
  • R41962: The Social Security Retirement Age: In Brief »
  • 473.51 KB
  • RS22294: Social Security Survivors Benefits »
  • 184.94 KB
  • R41289: Disability Benefits Available Under the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Veterans Disability Compensation »
  • 904.6 KB
  • RS20479: Social Security: Substantial Gainful Activity for the Blind »
  • 393.29 KB
  • RS22220: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI): The Five-Month Waiting Period for Benefits »
  • 519.11 KB
  • RL33585: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) Demonstration Projects »
  • 521.25 KB
  • R41934: Ticket to Work and Self-Sufficiency Program: Overview and Current Issues »
  • 583.55 KB
  • R41716: Social Security Administration (SSA): Budget Issues »
  • 686.97 KB
  • RL30318: The Social Security Number: Legal Developments Affecting its Collection, Disclosure, and Confidentiality »
  • 763.45 KB
  • RS20607: Social Security: Trust Fund Investment Practices »
  • 398.94 KB
  • R43542: How Social Security Benefits Are Computed: In Brief »
  • 506.85 KB
  • R43615: Social Security: Minimum Benefits »
  • 595.65 KB
  • 94-803: Social Security: Cost-of-Living Adjustments »
  • 491.49 KB
  • 98-35: Social Security: The Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) »
  • 519.99 KB
  • RL32453: Social Security: The Government Pension Offset (GPO) »
  • 643.64 KB
  • RL32552: Social Security: Calculation and History of Taxing Benefits »
  • 730.3 KB
  • R43370: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI): Becoming Insured, Calculating Benefit Payments, and the Effect of Dropout Y »
  • 645.32 KB
  • R43471: Concurrent Receipt of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Unemployment Insurance (UI): Background and Legisl »
  • 684.48 KB
  • Social Security: The Lump-Sum Death Benefit »
  • 445.41 KB
  • RL32279: Primer on Disability Benefits: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) »
  • 642.96 KB

    Social Security Tables and Figures in CRS Reports

    The following tables and figures related to Social Security can be found in the CRS reports included in this Green Book chapter.

    History of Social Security

    RL30920: Social Security: Major Decisions in the House and Senate Since 1935

    Table 1. Social Security Laws, 1935-2012

     

    Overview of Social Security

    R42035: Social Security Primer

    Table 1. Increase in the Full Retirement Age Scheduled Under Current Law

    Table 2. Computation of a Worker’s Primary Insurance Amount (PIA) in 2014 Based on an Illustrative AIME of $5,000

    Table 3. Social Security Benefits for the Worker’s Family Members

    Table 4. Social Security Beneficiaries, by Type, June 2014

    Social Security Financing and the Trust Funds

    RL33028: Social Security: The Trust Fund

    Table 1. Operations of the Social Security Trust Fund, Historical Period 1957-2013

    Table 2. Projected Operations of the Social Security Trust Fund, 2014-2032

    Table 3. Accumulated Holdings of the Social Security Trust Fund, Historical Period 1957-2013

    Table 4. Projected Accumulated Holdings of the Social Security Trust Fund, 2014-2032

    Figure 1. Ratio of Current Non-Interest Income to Costs for the Social Security Trust Fund, 1957-2032

    R43318: Social Security Disability Insurance (DI) Trust Fund: Background and Solvency Issues

    Table 1. Social Security and Medicare Payroll Tax Rates

    Table 2. Annual Operations of the DI Trust Fund, 2003-2013

    Table 3. Interfund Loans From the DI and HI Trust Funds to the OASI Trust Fund, 1982

    Table 4. Legislative History of Payroll Tax Reallocations Between the OASI and DI Trust Funds

    Table 5. OASDI Payroll Tax Rate Reallocations under the Social Security Domestic Employment Reform Act of 1994 (P.L. 103-387)

    Table 6. Potential Reallocation of the OASDI Payroll Tax Rate, 2015 and Beyond

    Table A-1. Key Dates Projected for the Social Security Trust Funds as Shown Under the Intermediate Assumptions in Trustees Reports from 1983 to 2014

    Figure 1. Actual and Projected DI Trust Fund Ratios, 2000-2023

    Figure 2. DI Income and Cost Rates, 1990-2013

    Figure 3. Actual and Projected OASI, DI, and HI Trust Fund Ratios

    Figure A-1. Actual and Projected DI Income and Cost Rates with Scheduled and Payable Benefits, 1970-2090

    RL33514: Social Security: What Would Happen If the Trust Funds Ran Out?

    Table 1. Current Social Security Benefit Payment Schedule

    Figure 1. Social Security Trust Fund Ratios

    Figure 2. Payable Benefits as a Share of Scheduled Benefits at Current Law Payroll Tax Rates, 2014-2088

    Figure 3. Replacement Rates Under Benefit Cut Scenario, 2014-2088

    Figure 4. Initial Real Annual Payable Benefits Under Benefit Cut Scenario, 2014-2088

    Figure 5. Combined Payroll Tax Rate Needed To Fund Scheduled Benefits, 2014-2088

    Social Security Benefits and Eligibility

    R43542: How Social Security Benefits Are Computed: In Brief

    Table 1. Computation of a Worker’s Primary Insurance Amount (PIA) in 2014 Based on an Illustrative AIME of $5,000

    Table 2. Full Retirement Age (FRA) by Year of Birth

    Figure 1. Computation of a Worker’s Primary Insurance Amount (PIA) in 2014

    Figure 2. Monthly Retirement Benefit by Claim Age

    R41962: The Social Security Retirement Age: In Brief

    Table 1. Age to Receive Full Social Security Benefits

    Table 2. Benefit Decrease for Early Retirement

    Table 3. Benefit Increase for Delayed Retirement

    Figure 1. Age Distribution of Retirement Benefit Claims in 2012

    RS22294: Social Security Survivors Benefits

    Table 1. Survivors Beneficiaries and Benefits

    R43637: Social Security: The Lump-Sum Death Benefit

    Figure 1. The Diminishing Significance of the Lump-Sum Death Benefit

    R43615: Social Security: Minimum Benefits

    Table 1. Special Minimum PIA Monthly Benefit Amounts, 2014

    Table 2. Number of Special Minimum PIA Beneficiaries and Average Increase in Monthly Benefit, June 2013

    94-803: Social Security: Cost-of-Living Adjustments

    Table 1. Computation of the Social Security COLA, January 2014

    Table 2. Average CPI-W for the Third Quarter, 2007-2013

    Table 3. History of Social Security Benefit Increases

    98-35: Social Security: The Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP)

    Table 1. Social Security Benefit Formula in 2014

    Table 2. Monthly PIA for a Worker With Average Indexed Monthly Earnings of $1,500 and Retiring in 2014

    Table 3. WEP Reduction Falls with Years of Substantial Coverage

    Table 4. Number of Beneficiaries in Current Payment Status with Benefits Affected by Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP), by State and Type of Benefit, December 2013

    RL32453: Social Security: The Government Pension Offset (GPO)

    Table 1. Dual Entitlement Formula Applied to Spouses

    Table 2. GPO Formula for Spouses

    Table 3. Dual Entitlement Rule Compared with Government Pension Offset

    Table 4. Mary's Spousal Benefit, Before and After GPO Enactment

    Table 5. Number of Social Security Beneficiaries Affected by GPO, by State, Type of Benefit, and Offset Status, December 2013

    RL32552: Social Security: Calculation and History of Taxing Benefits

    Table 1. Calculation of Taxable Social Security and Tier I Railroad Retirement Benefits

    Table 2. Example of Calculation of Taxable Social Security Benefits for Single Social Security Recipients with a $15,000 Benefit and Different Levels of Other Income

    Table 3. State Income Taxation of Social Security Benefits, Tax Year 2014

    Table 4. Projected Number and Percentage of Beneficiaries with Taxable Social Security Benefits by Income Class, 2014

    Table 5. Projected Social Security Benefits and Taxes on Social Security Benefits by Income Class, 2014

    Figure 1. Taxable Social Security Benefits as Annual Non-Social Security Income Increases

    Figure 2. Taxable Social Security Benefits as Total Annual Social Security Benefits Increase

    Social Security Disability Insurance

    RL32279: Primer on Disability Benefits: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

    Table 1. Number of SSDI Workers Terminated, by Reason for Termination, 2012

    Table 2. Number of Blind and Disabled SSI Recipients (Aged 18-64) Terminated, by Reason for Termination, 2012

    Figure 1. SSA’s Disability Determination Process for SSDI and Adult SSI Claimants

    Figure 2. SSA’s Disability Determination Process for Child SSI Claimants

    Figure 3. SSA’s Appeals Process

    R43370: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI): Becoming Insured, Calculating Benefit Payments, and the Effect of Dropout Year Provisions

    Table 1. Computation of “Ms. M.’s” Primary Insurance Amount (PIA) in 2014 Based on Her AIME of $1,6000

    Table A-1. Disability and Childcare Dropout Year (CDY) Computation Chart for SSDI Benefits 

    Figure A-1. Primary Insurance Amounts of Disabled Workers Credited with Childcare Dropout Years (CDYs), 2000-2013

    R41289: Disability Benefits Available Under the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Veterans Disability Compensation (VDC) Programs

    Table 1. Comparison of SSDI and VDC Recipients

    Table 2. Comparison of Key SSDI and VDC Program Components

    Table 3. General VDC and SSDI Eligibility Determinations for Four Hypothetical Veterans

    Figure 1. Social Security Administration's Five-Step Sequential Evaluation Process for Determining Disability

    Figure 2. SSDI Appeals Process

    Figure 3. Flow Chart of the Various Steps in the VA Appeal Process

    RS20479: Social Security: Substantial Gainful Activity for the Blind

    Figure A-1. SGA Levels for Blind and Non-Blind Individuals, Calendar Years 1975-2014

    R43471: Concurrent Receipt of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Unemployment Insurance (UI): Background and Legislative Proposals in the 113th Congress

    Table 1. Estimated Average Monthly Number of Concurrent SSDI and UI Beneficiaries, 2014-2023

    Table 2. Proposals to Eliminate or Offset Concurrent Receipt of SSDI and UI Benefits

    RL33585: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) Demonstration Projects

    Table 1. Legislative History of SSA’s Demonstration Authority

    Table 2. Status of SSDI Demonstration Projects

    R41934: Ticket to Work and Self-Sufficiency Program: Overview and Current Issues

    Table 1. Data on the Ticket to Work Program

    Table 2. The Percentage of Disability Beneficiaries Participating in Ticket to Work, Calendar Years 2002-2010

    Table 3. Distribution of EN Payments, Calendar Years 2002-2011

    Table 4. Employment Outcomes Before and After the July 2008 Regulatory Changes

    Table A-1. Side-by-Side Comparison of Key Ticket to Work July 2008 Regulatory Changes

    Table B-1. Comparison of Total Potential EN Payments for All Ticket Holders Under Milestone-Outcome and Outcome-Only Payment Systems

    Table B-2. Comparison of Total Potential EN Payments for SSDI and SSI Ticket Holders Under Both EN Payment Systems

    Table B-3. Breakdown of Milestone-Outcome EN Payment System

    Table B-4. Breakdown of Outcome-Only Payment System

    Figure 1. Sample Ticket

    Figure 2. Ticket to Work Payment Systems for Employment Networks, Calendar Year 2014

    Figure 3. New Tickets Assigned, Calendar Years 2004-2010

    Figure 4. New Tickets Assigned to ENs, Calendar Years 2004-2010

    R41716: Social Security Administration (SSA): Budget Issues

    Figure 1. Projected Spending on SSA Programs

    Figure 2. SSA Total LAE Budget Authority

    Figure 3. SSA Administrative Budget Requests and Appropriations

    This page was prepared on August 29, 2014, for the 2014 version of the House Ways and Means Committee Green Book.

    AttachmentSize
  • RL30920: Social Security: Major Decisions in the House and Senate Since 1935 »
  • 1.33 MB
  • R42035: Social Security Primer »
  • 302.86 KB
  • RL33028: Social Security: The Trust Fund »
  • 751.94 KB
  • R43318: Social Security Disability Insurance (DI) Trust Fund: Background and Solvency Issues »
  • 816.65 KB
  • RL33514: Social Security: What Would Happen If the Trust Funds Ran Out? »
  • 625.91 KB
  • R41962: The Social Security Retirement Age: In Brief »
  • 473.51 KB
  • RS22294: Social Security Survivors Benefits »
  • 184.94 KB
  • R41289: Disability Benefits Available Under the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Veterans Disability Compensation »
  • 904.6 KB
  • RL33585: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) Demonstration Projects »
  • 521.25 KB
  • R41934: Ticket to Work and Self-Sufficiency Program: Overview and Current Issues »
  • 583.55 KB
  • R41716: Social Security Administration (SSA): Budget Issues »
  • 686.97 KB
  • R43542: How Social Security Benefits Are Computed: In Brief »
  • 506.85 KB
  • R43637: Social Security: The Lump-Sum Death Benefit »
  • 445.41 KB
  • R43615: Social Security: Minimum Benefits »
  • 595.65 KB
  • 94-803: Social Security: Cost-of-Living Adjustments »
  • 491.49 KB
  • 98-35: Social Security: The Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) »
  • 519.99 KB
  • RL32453: Social Security: The Government Pension Offset (GPO) »
  • 643.64 KB
  • RL32552: Social Security: Calculation and History of Taxing Benefits »
  • 730.3 KB
  • RL32279: Primer on Disability Benefits: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) »
  • 521.65 KB
  • R43370: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI): Becoming Insured, Calculating Benefit Payments, and the Effect of Dropout Y »
  • 645.32 KB
  • R43471: Concurrent Receipt of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Unemployment Insurance (UI): Background and Legisl »
  • 684.48 KB

    Additional Tables and Figures Related to Social Security

    The following additional tables and figures appear in this section of the Green Book chapter on Social Security.

    Social Security as a Percentage of Income Among Beneficiaries Age 65 and Older

    Table 1-1. Social Security Benefits as a Percentage of Income Among Beneficiaries Age 65 and Older in 2012

    Figure 1-1. Social Security Benefits as a Share of Total Income Among Beneficiaries Age 65 and Older in 2012 by Income Quartile

    Social Security Trust Funds

    Table 1-2. Long-Range Actuarial Status of the Combined OASDI Trust Fund as Shown Under the Intermediate Assumptions in Trustees’ Reports from 1983 to 2014

    Table 1-3. Projected Trust Fund Exhaustion and Operations as Shown Under the Intermediate Assumptions in Trustees’ Reports from 1983 to 2014

    Social Security Retirement Age

    Table 1-4. Increases in Full Retirement Age and Delayed Retirement Credits with Resulting Benefit, as a Percent of Primary Insurance Amount, Payable at Selected Ages, for Persons Born in 1924 or Later

    Social Security Disability Insurance: Number of Beneficiaries

    Table 1-5. Number of Disability Insurance (DI) Beneficiaries in Current-Payment Status, Selected Years 1960-2012

    Social Security Disability Insurance: New Benefit Awards

    Table 1-6. Disabled Workers’ Applications, Awards, Awards as a Percent of Applications, and Awards Per 1,000 Insured Workers, Selected Calendar Years 1965-2012

    Table 1-7. Percent Distribution by Age and Sex of Title II Disabled Worker Beneficiaries Awarded Benefits in Selected Calendar Years 1970-2012

    Table 1-8 Percent Distribution by Disabling Impairment of Title II Disabled Worker Beneficiaries Awarded Benefits in Selected Calendar Years 1970-2012

    Figure 1-2. Disability Claims and Appeals in Fiscal Year 2013

    Social Security Disability Insurance: Substantial Gainful Activity Amounts

    Table 1-9. Monthly Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA) Amounts, 1968-2014

    This page was prepared on August 29, 2014, for the 2014 version of the House Ways and Means Committee Green Book.

    Social Security Legislative History

    This section covers major legislative changes made in the 112th Congress through the first session of the 113th Congress.  For a description of legislative changes made in the 95th through 102nd Congresses, please refer to the 1996 Green Book.  For legislative changes made in the 103rd Congress, please refer to the 1998 Green Book.  For legislative changes made in the 104th through 111th Congresses, please refer to the 2012 Green Book.

    112th CONGRESS

    Temporary Payroll Tax Cut Continuation Act of 2011 (Public Law 112-78)

    Among other provisions, the Temporary Payroll Tax Cut Continuation Act of 2011 extended for two months (i.e., through February 2012) the temporary 2 percentage point reduction in the Social Security payroll tax for employees and the self-employed in effect for calendar year 2011 under Public Law 111-312.  The reduced payroll tax rate was applied to the first $18,350 of covered wages (an amount equal to two-twelfths of the 2012 taxable wage base of $110,100). The employer’s share of the payroll tax was not affected. The law provided general revenue transfers to the Social Security trust funds in amounts needed to protect the trust funds from a loss of payroll tax revenues due to the temporary reduction.

    Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 (Public Law 112-96)

    Among other provisions, the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 further extended the temporary 2 percentage point reduction in the Social Security payroll tax for workers (described above) through the end of calendar year 2012. The law provided general revenue transfers to the Social Security trust funds to make up for the foregone payroll tax revenues.

    For more information on the legislative history of the Social Security program, see the Social Security Administration website at https://www.ssa.gov/history/law.html.

    This page was prepared on August 29, 2014, for the 2014 version of the House Ways and Means Committee Green Book.

    Social Security Links to Additional Resources

    ▪ U.S. Social Security Administration

       www.socialsecurity.gov

    ▪ Social Security Advisory Board

       www.ssab.gov

    ▪ Congressional Budget Office

       www.cbo.gov

    ▪ U.S. Government Accountability Office

       www.gao.gov

    ▪ Retirement Research Consortium

       https://www.socialsecurity.gov/policy/rrc/index.html

    This page was prepared on August 29, 2014, for the 2014 version of the House Ways and Means Committee Green Book.