Disability, Online Services

Disability Benefits: The Numbers Tell the Story

September 8, 2015 • By

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

Deputy Commissioner, Office of Communications


  1. Julianne C.

    Dear Mr. Walker,
    My Daughter has been diagnosed with Chron’s Disease and intestinal dismobility. Although she is almost 40 she has been qualified for disability after more than a year of struggles via the qualifying process. She is severely, desperately underweight. However her files have been pulled for audit and on hold until March. Realistically, she will not survive that long. Please, Sir… help me to discover who would be able to help with this last glitch before it’s too late.

    Thanking you in advance,

    • Ray F.

      Julianne, we are sorry to hear of your daughter’s medical complications. If we are conducting a medical review of your daughter’s disability claim, we just want to let you know that the law requires Social Security to conduct disability reviews periodically to make sure the individuals receiving disability benefits are still eligible to get them.
      Unfortunately, but for security reasons, we do not have access to personal records in this blog. Considering the circumstances, you’ve shared, you and your daughter need to continue working with the local office. You can request to speak with the office manager if necessary, to see how we can help to expedite resolution of the situation. If you are unable to visit the local office, you can call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213 and speak to one of our agents. Representatives are available Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Generally, you will have a shorter wait time if you call later in the week. Thanks.

  2. Kareen M.

    My husband has dementia and he is 70 years old. He has been on Social Security since he was 62. He now needs 24 seven care so I need to quit work and my last day is next Friday and we will have no money except for that! And we have a lot more meals and will be making so I need help please

  3. Steve a.

    Still wanting to know,why my payments are so low,trying to scrape by while illegals get more than i do for no reason!!!!!

  4. Ennio D.

    why my ssi disability did not pay my benefit this month my name is ennio I waiting for my pay and I need it Thanks

    • Ray F.

      Hi Ennio. For your security, we do not have access to information about your account in this venue. To report a late or missing payment, contact us at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., Monday through Friday. Your bank may also be able to tell you why a deposit failed. Thanks.

  5. Susan

    Social Security disability is a god-forsaken joke which I had waited four and a half years to be able to receive the disability benefit that I paid into for at least 40 years and I hardly get anything a month and I have had to fight for my back pay because they kept getting my onset date wrong and I finally had to accept 9 months worth of back pay when I should have received two and a half years back pay I worked and paid into this system when I could have paid into an IRA and had my own retirement system and had taken that money when I deemed fit that I needed it they need to revamp this disability s*** cuz I am damn sick of it I went through holy hell and lost everything I had fighting for nearly six years to be able to get this benefit that I paid into for many years and that’s what I think of it

  6. denise M.

    I can not pay back a payday loan can they take it out of my dissability

  7. Kelly s.

    Hi I know a person working under the table and gets paid while he has been collecting ssd and the person paying him knows he collects she calls him her handy man and pays him cash and writes a check to his girlfriend linda. Rick coons receives money while collecting (ssd) from Mary vanderbosch her address is 12680 cottage rd south Dayton ny 14138 I have witnessed him working doing construction work on roofs also using saws lumber climbing trees and he’s said he’s on disability please don’t tell.. we’ll im telling on them cause Mary is a slumlord and hasnt fixed a thing in this apt at 395 west main st apt a arcade ny. Look into this matter please and thank you.. people that are truly disabled need help Rick coons is not disabled he lied to you and Mary vanderbosch pays him a lot of money under the table and I have witnessed it and have witnesses thank you

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  10. tim h.

    I want to know about the new medicare program that pays out over$2600 a month. how do you go about getting it

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