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Where exactly are Social Security benefits going?

Each month, the Social Security Administration pays out over $80 billion in benefits to Americans who are eligible for one type of program or another. The vast majority of these dollars go to Social Security's retirement program. However, of the $80 billion a month that is being spent, $11 billion goes to pay disability benefits to people across the country, including in Central Florida, who qualify for them. Of this $11 billion, all but $600 million goes to disabled workers themselves. The remainder consists of small monthly payments made to spouses or children of the disabled workers.

Contrary to what some might suggest, statistics show that the average person who is on disability is not getting rich off of the program and, in fact, is not making enough from the program to get above the poverty line on their own. Specifically, the average person gets a monthly check of a little less than $1,060 a month. Still, this monthly payment can be a lifesaver for those who are unable to work and need whatever financial help they can get in order to make ends meet.

On the whole, there are currently about 8.7 million people enrolled on the nation's two disability programs, and this number is only expected to grow. In fact, the Social Security Administration estimates that out of those 20-year-olds who are now just entering the work force, 25 percent of them will eventually need disability benefits.

It is important for Florida residents who may need disability benefits in the future to pay careful attention to the facts about how money is being spent and exactly on whom it is being spent. This vigilance will help to protect the Social Security Disability program for future generations.

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