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Wednesday, December 4, 2013

5 States that Rely on Social Security Benefits the Most

Ever since, millions of Americans rely on social security benefits for a living. In fact, in some states, it turns out that a greater proportion of their populations are depended on social security benefits to supplement their daily incomes.

Each year, the Social Security Administration (SSA) provides statistics about where it recipient live. Here are the five states with the highest percentage of population that rely on Social Security benefits such as retirement benefits, survivors and disability insurance under Social Security as of 2012.

West Virginia 

About 24.6 percent of West Virginia’s population relies on social security benefits. Apparently, almost a quarter of its 1.86 million populations receive social security benefits. It is not yet clear whether or not the increased number of recipients has something to do with the controversy linked to a retired Social Security administrative judge. Allegedly, the retired administrative judge collaborated with a lawyer to grant improper disability benefits to more than 1,800 disability claimants from 2006 to 2010.


At least 23.7 percent of Maine’s residents receive the federal benefits. Not far different from West Virginia, Maine has almost a quarter of its 1.33 million residents who collect social security benefits. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities saw a significant increase in the state’s senior poverty rate. From eight percent, the state’s senior citizen poverty rate has increased by 36 percent. A recent study revealed that proposals to modify the way cost-of-living increases are calculated could absolutely impact Maine’s Social Security recipients. 


Approximately 22.3 percent of Arkansas’ fairly small population depends of social security. So far, social security has become a big issue as the state’s senate race approaches. Recent news have it that current Sen. Mark Pryor is accusing his rival and current House Representative, Tom Cotton, of voting to cut Social Security earlier this year. Incidentally, social security is very important to its residents since the rise in full retirement age in the state is currently in full swing.


Almost being similar to Arkansas, the state of Alabama has 22 percent of its 700,000 residents rely on social security. The state was likewise dragged into controversy recently after an employee at the Washington County Sherriff’s office faced allegations of federal benefit fraud. As previously reported, the employee admitted to having understated earnings on social security forms so that he could maximize the amount of benefits he could receive at the same time. Unfortunately, the state doesn’t have an exclusive control on fraud over Social Security benefits. Thus, frauds have become an increasingly huge threat in the past few years.


Around 21.7 percent of Vermont’s 626,000 residents rely on social security. Most probably, the state’s independent member of Congress and biggest proponent of social security, Sen. Bernie Sanders, is a big factor that influence the enormously successful way of cutting senior citizen poverty rate in the state.

“Surprisingly, California, which houses Los Angeles, is not included on the list,” commented by a SSI lawyer.

Keep in mind that for any changes that are likely to occur in social security benefits, the said states could be the first one to be hurt the most. Thus, we encourage lawmakers to always put into consideration the nation’s most vulnerable citizens, the seniors, in whatever decision they have to make.