Disability, Online Services

Disability Benefits: The Numbers Tell the Story

September 8, 2015 • By

Reading Time: 2 Minutes

Last Updated: September 8, 2015

A young woman uses the computer.Social Security provides an economic lifeline to America’s workers through our benefit programs. We run the largest disability program in the nation. We want to make sure that everyone has a clear picture of the disability insurance program and of the people living with severe disabilities, who receive its benefits.

Because the Social Security Act sets out a strict definition of disability, our beneficiaries are among the most severely disabled people in the country. We provide modest benefit payments to workers who contributed into the Social Security trust fund before becoming disabled. The average disability beneficiary today paid into the disability trust fund for 22 years before becoming entitled to Social Security disability benefits.

When disability happens, Social Security provides support for insured workers and their families. For many disabled Americans, this earned benefit is the only thing standing between them and poverty.

To create awareness about the positive economic impact of our disability program, Social Security is releasing two new online data resources — our new state disability fact sheets and our national disability issue paper. These two online resources show how Social Security continues to fulfill our intergenerational promise of support to America’s workers and their families.

The state disability fact sheets include information by state and congressional district about disabled workers, children of insured workers, and spouses of insured workers who are receiving disability benefits. They also show the average annual disability benefit in relation to the poverty threshold, as well as more specific data about the recipients in those areas.

The national disability issue paper describes the fundamental principles of our disability program, its economic impact, and how it continues to live up to its founding ideals.

We invite you to go to our website and try these useful new resources.

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About the Author

Doug Walker, Deputy Commissioner, Communications

Deputy Commissioner, Office of Communications


  1. Dawnetta S.

    I wanted to check on my case I just did court on November 9th

    • Vonda

      Hi Dawnetta, thank you for using our blog. You can log in to or create a my Social Security account to check the status of your application online.

      If you are unable to check your status online, you can call us at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) or your local Social Security office. Please look for the general inquiry telephone number at the Social Security Office Locator. The number may appear under Show Additional Office Information. Please be aware that our call wait times are longer than normal. We hope this information helps.

  2. katek

    May I just say what a comfort to find someone that truly knows what they’re talking about on the net. You actually realize how to bring a problem to light and make it important. A lot more people ought to check this out and understand this side of your story. I was surprised that you’re not more popular because you surely possess the gift.


  3. Wordpress C.

    The very next time I read a blog, I hope that it does not fail me as much as this particular one. I mean, Yes, it was my choice to read through, but I actually believed you would have something interesting to talk about. All I hear is a bunch of whining about something that you can fix if you weren’t too busy seeking attention.


  4. Belinda M.

    I have raised someone else children since their birth about to gain custody of the two children boy 7 girl 6. I am on disability. What happens next? Do they gain income as a child of my own?

    • Ann C.

      Hi, Belinda. When you qualify for Social Security disability benefits, your children may also qualify to receive benefits on your record. Your eligible child can be your biological child, adopted child, or stepchild. For more information, visit our Disability Planner: Benefits for Your Children. We hope this helps.

  5. Candace

    My brother is currently receiving disability since 2014. He recently had another stroke and we are trying to see if he can apply for Medi-Cal.
    Do we go to the SS office?
    What do we need to bring?
    How do we proceed on this?
    Thank you!

    • Ann C.

      Hi, Candace. We are sorry to hear about your brother’s condition. To apply for Medicaid or to request more information about Medicaid, you will need to call your state medical assistance office. To get the local phone number, call the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services at 1-800-633-4227 (TTY, 1-877-486-2048). Thanks!

  6. katek

    Very good post! We are linking to this particularly great content on our website. Keep up the good writing.


  7. william s.

  8. Richard T.

    I didn’t receive my benefits today trying to find out what happened

  9. abrahamson p.

    Hi sir and modal lady
    I explained stay at home can do anything in house private legal
    Legal at home SEFT EMPLOYEE trade stock market make multi trillion dollar
    Legal GORNMENT let me stay home do your make money voluntary worker
    Knowledge and study,research myseft and
    Decinpleen worker
    Thank you so much
    Story treasury check or money social security I have a DRINKING problem alcoholic disoreder and by POLAR disorder
    And DIMENTIONARY LOSS memory,OUT of controll,I worker pay tax gornment,today I am DEPRESSION SICK and tire,so GORNMENT pay benenfit social security
    Pass over 10 years from $600 to $716
    By GORNMENT pay dai money $2,861
    Please no cheat my benenifit
    Thank you so much
    You have a nice day

  10. kimberly m.

    received email after knowing ive applied for multiple loans and was told by you guys that my ssi well i was eligible for 1700 a month instead of 770 bc i cant make. it and my health is decling quickly and i stress all the time bc of finances.please help.i only have very old medical bills that make my credit poor but live n cant get out of my overdraft at bank.pleaase help me

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