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A sizable number of seniors and others who are eligible in Connecticut benefit from Social Security. And many of them almost completely depend on the program for income.
About 708,000 people in Connecticut — about 20% of the state’s population — received benefits, according to December 2022 data from the U.S. Social Security Administration.
More than three quarters of beneficiaries in the state are retired workers, while about 10% of them are receiving disability income. Smaller percentages of those beneficiaries are children and people receiving survivor benefits from deceased spouses or family members.
In total, beneficiaries in Connecticut are receiving an annual $13 billion, according to an American Association of Retired Persons analysis of July 2022 data. The average retired workers benefits were about $1,700 a month and the average disability benefits were about $1,300 a month.
Between 2018 and 2020, about 156,000 people who were 65 and older were lifted out of poverty in the state because of Social Security benefits.
Social Security contributes to at least half of the income of more than a third of beneficiaries who are 65 and older. And for those in that same age bracket, Black residents disproportionately rely on those benefits for 90% of their income compared to white residents in Connecticut.
Rep. John Larson, D-Conn., said in an interview that Social Security is “currently the number one anti-poverty program for children and for the elderly and the best gap closer in terms of the disparity of wealth in the country.”