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September 15, 2011

West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol Building, Washington, DC at 1:00 pm EDT


Sponsored by: AARP, CWLA, Children's Defense Fund, Generations United, GrandFamilies of America, National Committee of Grandparents for Children's Rights

Grandparents play a crucial role in many children’s lives. But for more than 940,000 grandchildren, grandparents step in and raise them without their parents being present. On September 15th, hundreds of grandparent and relative caregivers gathered at the U.S. Capitol for the Fourth National GrandRally for Grandparents and Other Relatives Raising Children to celebrate the incredible role they play for children. As we celebrate these caregivers, we need to recognize the great sacrifices they make to care for and protect these children. Many struggle to provide financial security for the children in their care and to access health, mental health, educational and other supports. In these times of extraordinary economic challenges they need extra support, and Social Security is a critical lifeline for the caregivers and the children they are raising. It is imperative that Congress protect and strengthen Social Security and the role it plays through its retirement, disability and survivors benefits for children and relative caregivers. It also is important for Social Security to reach more children being raised by caregivers. At the 2011 GrandRally, caregivers from across the country shared how this inter-generational lifeline has helped them care for children.

Key Facts on Social Security

Fourth National GrandRally
  • Social Security pays more cash benefits for children than any other federal program. More than 6.5 million American children receive part of their family income from Social Security.
  • Social Security provides a main source of life insurance for most families with children. About 98 percent of children in the United States could receive survivors benefits if they were to lose their parents.
  • Social Security reduces child poverty. It lifted 1.1 million children out of poverty in 2009.
  • Social Security helps children of color. In 2009, while 15 percent of children in the United States were African American, 18 percent of children receiving survivors benefits were African American

Social Security is an Intergenerational Program

Other Resources about Kinship Families

GrandRally Virginia Delegation

 Child Beneficiary Data on Social Security Map

The map of state-by-state fact sheets provides detailed information on the important role Social Security plays for children and their relative caregivers. Find statistics on the number of Social Security child beneficiaries and number of children lifted out of poverty by Social Security.

Notes: The estimated number of children lifted out of poverty by Social Security in each state is an average of the number in that state over three years between 2007 and 2009. This three-year average is used because of small sample sizes in some states. The average number of children lifted out of poverty by Social Security on the map is based on 2008, 2009, and 2010 Current Population Survey's Annual Social and Economic Supplement and calculated by using CPS Creator Table II.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau (2010), Current Population Survey (CPS) Table Creator II for the Annual Social and Economic Supplement at http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/cpstc/apm/cpstc_altpov.html. Social Security Administration, Annual Statistical Supplement to the Social Security Bulletin, 2010 (February 2011), Table 5.J10, at http://www.ssa.gov/policy/docs/statcomps/supplement/.

Calculations by Children’s Defense Fund.