Social Security benefits contributed $30.9 million to the Northern Marianas economy last year, up by $1.128 million over 2016.
The number of people getting benefits is also higher, according to the Social Security Administration’s records released to Congress. It said 2,955 retirees, disabled workers, and survivors received Social Security checks in 2017. These benefits pumped $1.95 million in income every month to the Marianas economy, bringing in a total of $23.4 million for the year.
In addition, the Supplemental Security Income program paid a total of $7.5 million to 1,027 Marianas residents last year.
“All these benefits provide a steady income to the recipients, but Social Security has a much greater impact than that,” said Delegate Gregorio Kilili C. Sablan (Ind-MP). “When beneficiaries spend their checks on goods and services, the effects ripple throughout our economy.”
The average Marianas recipient received a monthly check for $660 last year. Most of the people who receive Social Security benefits are retirees. A total of 1,700 of the beneficiaries in the Marianas are aged 65 or older.
Sablan has regularly cosponsored legislation that strengthens and preserves Social Security for today’s seniors and future generations.
“During their working years, Americans pay into the system in exchange for a promise of a safe, healthy and dignified retirement. That’s a promise we must always keep,” Sablan said.
The Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance—popularly known as Social Security—provides monthly benefits to a retired or disabled worker and family members, based on the worker’s earnings during his or her lifetime.
A separate program, SSI provides federal cash assistance to low-income elderly, blind, or disabled persons and is available to persons in the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and—thanks to our Covenant—the Northern Mariana Islands. (PR)