The "modest benefits" provided under the Social Security program were enough to boost 807,000 Illinoisans out of poverty in 2012, including 585,000 seniors, according to a new report released by Social Security Works and the Alliance for Retired Americans.
At the national level, 22 million people, including one million children, were lifted out of poverty in 2012 thanks to the social insurance program, which celebrated its 79th birthday last Thursday.
Without Social Security, which provides insurance benefits to retirees, children, surviving spouses and the disabled, the poverty rate among Illinois residents 65 and older would jump from 8.3 percent to 43.1 percent, the "Social Security Works for Illinois" report shows.
In Illinois, 67 precent of the state's 2013 Social Security beneficiaries were retirees, followed by disabled workers at 18 percent. Children represented 7 percent of Illinois' Social Security recipients last year.
"You can go right down the line in how (Social Security) impacts all Illinois residents," said Barbara Franklin, president of the Illinois Alliance for Retired Americans. "And what really makes you mad is (some lawmakers have) been going after this program ... Hardly a year goes by that you don't hear cries to privatize Social Security." Read more »