Social Security and September 11th: Two Years Later
Social Security is America’s family protection plan.
It is more than a retirement program; it provides valuable survivors
and disability protection for workers and their families.
As a result of September 11th, Social Security
received 5,629 individual benefit claims from 2,281 families.
Most of the assistance went to family members of those killed
in the terrorist attacks. However, Social Security also helped
workers get disability and retirement benefits.
Survivors Benefits: When a worker
dies, certain surviving family members may be eligible for
Social Security survivors benefits. Social Security
is currently paying monthly benefits to 2,375 surviving
children and 853 surviving spouses. In addition to monthly
benefits, one-time payments were made to 1,800 members of
Disability Benefits: When a worker
is unable to work due to a disability that lasts or may
be expected to last at least one year or to result in death,
the disabled worker and certain family members may be eligible
for Social Security disability benefits. Social Security
is currently paying monthly benefits to 498 individuals
disabled by the terrorist attacks of September 11th
and 81 of their dependent spouses or children
Nearly $67 million in benefits have been paid to people affected
by the September 11, 2001 tragedies.
The first payments to surviving family members (benefits
for the month of September) were paid on October 3, 2001.
As of August 2003, Social Security is paying more than
$3 million per month.
Social Security responded to the September 11th
terrorist attacks by activating special emergency procedures
to give the fastest possible service to the families of the
victims of the tragedies at the World Trade Center, the
Pentagon and in Pennsylvania.
These procedures allowed for acceptance of documents as
proof of death that, under other circumstances, would not
have been accepted. Airplane manifests, lists of employees
furnished by employers and other statements that placed
the worker at the scene of the attacks were accepted.
Social Security employees helped families at special assistance
centers that were established in New York, Arlington, VA,
and Shanksville, PA.
SSA Press Office 449 Altmeyer Bldg. 6401 Security
Blvd. Baltimore, MD 21235
410-965-8904 FAX 410-966-9973