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In honor of the 75th anniversary of Social Security we are kicking off a blog series called "Social Security Works..." every post will examine an aspect or group of people that Social Security works for, today we will examine how Social Security works for America.

Social Security has been providing old-age and survivors insurance since Ida Mae Fuller’s collection of the first Social Security benefit in January 1940. On December 31, 2009 the Social Security Administration accounted for more than 52.5 million (52,522,819) total beneficiaries, including just under 9.7 million (9,696,398) disabled persons under age 65 and dependent family members, 6.4 million (6,409,640) survivors of deceased workers and 36.4 million (36,416,781) retired workers and their families.

In 2008, the latest year reporting data, SSA distributed benefits totaling a little over a total a trillion dollars ($1,077,030 million), composed of OASI $500 billion ($505,056 million) and DI $100 billion ($106,301 million) cash benefits, HI and SMI each $230 billion ($232,299 million, $229,295 million) CMS service benefits, and DI $75 million and OASI $4 million rehabilitation services.

By the end of calendar year 2009, the OASI Trust Fund had built up $2.34 trillion ($2,336,798 million) assets and DI Trust Fund over $200 billion ($203,550 million) assets for OASDI Trust Fund in excess of $2.5 trillion ($2,540,348 million) worth of assets.

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