The data in this report are derived from the Master Beneficiary Record, the principal administrative file of Social Security beneficiaries. The national ZIP + 4 file produced by the U.S. Postal Service is used to designate the beneficiary’s state and county. The ZIP + 4 file, which specifies counties in terms of 9-digit ZIP Codes, provides a more accurate designation of counties where ZIP Code areas cross county boundaries than the data available in the Master Beneficiary Record. The monthly benefit reported is the amount Social Security beneficiaries were paid for the month of December. The monthly benefit is the amount payable after any reductions. Some Social Security beneficiaries have a representative payee—a person designated by the Social Security Administration to receive their monthly benefit when such action is in the beneficiary’s best interest. About 3 percent of all adult beneficiaries and virtually all child beneficiaries under age 18 have representative payees. For most children, the representative payee is the parent with whom the child resides. For beneficiaries with representative payees, the state and county designations are those of the representative payees, not those of the beneficiaries. Maryland, Missouri, Nevada, and Virginia contain at least one independent city that is not part of a county. For these states, the counties are listed in alphabetical order, followed by the independent cities in alphabetical order.
It presents basic program data on the number and type of beneficiaries and the amount of benefits paid in each state and county. It also shows the numbers of men and women aged 65 or older receiving benefits. This report is a useful planning aid for Social Security Administration field offices and for those providing information to federal, state, and local government agencies. The data include only persons whose benefits are currently payable. Those whose benefits were withheld are excluded. State data on beneficiaries as a percentage of the total resident population and of the population aged 65 or older are analyzed in this dataset.