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Social Security

Important information for women concerning Social Security Benefits and Retirement!

Women and Social Security: Key Facts

1. Social Security is virtually the only source of income for one in four women 65 and older.

2. The average Social Security benefit for women 65 and older is about $12,000 per year.

3. Without Social Security, half of women 65 and older would be poor.

4. Social Security provides benefits to 3.1 million children and has lifted 1.1 million children out of poverty.

Women rely more on income from Social Security than men do.

For more than one in four women 65 and older (26 percent), Social Security is virtually the only source of income (90 percent or more). Fewer than one in five men (19 percent) rely on Social Security for 90 percent or more of their income.

The percentage of women who rely on Social Security for virtually all of their income doubles as they age: from 18 percent for women 65-69 to 35 percent for women 80 and older. Men's reliance on Social Security increases with age to a lesser extent: from 14 percent for men 65-59 to 23 percent for men 80 and older.

On average, women 65 and older receive more than half of their family income (54 percent) from Social Security, compared to slightly less than half (48 percent) for men 65 and older.

Social Security benefits are lower for women than for men.

1. The average Social Security benefit for women 65 and older is about $12,000 per year, compared to nearly $16,000 for men 65 and older.

Social Security provides disability and life insurance benefits that are especially important to women of color and their families.

1. Minority women disproportionately rely on Social Security disability benefits:

  • Nearly one in four African American women and other women of color who receive benefits as disabled workers (25 percent and 23 percent, respectively). In comparison, about one in seven white men (14 percent) and one in nine white women (11 percent) who receive Social Security receive benefits as disabled workers.

2. Social Security provides a lifeline to families when a worker is disabled or dies.

  • 3.1 million children receive Social Security benefits.
  • Children of color disproportionately rely on Social Security. While 6 percent of all beneficiaries are children, 12 percent of African American beneficiaries and 16 percent of other beneficiaries of color, are children.

The above information was obtained from the National Women's Law Center.

For more information on Social Security benefits, contact your local Social Security Administration Office or visit their website at www.socialsecurity.gov.


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