Social Security and under 30: Whats in it for me?

Social Security is a social insurance program that acts as an anti-poverty safety net for families of disabled workers, children of a deceased parent, and senior citizens. Many children, teenagers and college students benefit from the program. If President Bush has his way — to privatize Social Security — these benefits won’t be around for you and generations to come. What can you do?

• Get educated. Rock the Vote, AARP, NOW, AFL-CIO, National Urban League and many other organizations have factual information on Social Security.

• Don’t put it off. You may not be thinking about Social Security now because turning 65 seems a long way off. But Social Security is not just about retirement. It’s about guaranteeing that the most vulnerable in our society have a shot at a decent quality of life and education.

Here are a few facts you may not know:

• Roughly 3 million who receive Social Security benefits, or about one-tenth of all recipients, are children.

• About 7 million get survivor’s insurance.

• Some 6 million get disability insurance.

• African American children are almost four times more likely to be lifted out of poverty by Social Security than are white children.

• Without Social Security benefits the poverty rate for Latinos would increase from 19 percent to 55 percent.

• The average family benefit is enough to pay rent for a year.

Sources: National Urban League, Rock the Vote and Labor Council for Latin American Advancement.