Social Security Disability Statistics

Each year, the Social Security Administration (SSA) publishes the Annual Statistical Report on the Social Security Disability Insurance Program. This report illustrates the scope of the SSD program and its impact on disabled workers and other potential beneficiaries.

The law firm of Hardison & Cochran offers these highlights from the most recent report:

How Big is the SSD Benefits Program?

According to the report, the SSA paid disability benefits to roughly 10.1 million people over the course of the year, including:

  • 8.8 million disabled workers
  • 1 million disabled adult children
  • 255,472 disabled widow(er)s.

Payments to disabled beneficiaries totaled about $10.9 billion. The average monthly benefit received was $1,134.86 ($13,618.32 per year).

Benefits were terminated for 728,320 disabled workers.

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments were another source of income for roughly 1 in 7 SSD recipients.

Who Benefits from the SSD Program?

According to the annual report, during the year:

  • Workers accounted for the largest share of disabled beneficiaries (87.5 percent)
  • The average age of SSD recipients was 53.2 years old
  • 52.1 percent of SSD recipients were male.

The most common disabilities were:

  • Diseases of the musculoskeletal system and connective tissue (35.4 percent)
  • Mental disorders (18 percent)
  • Diseases of the circulatory system (10.6 percent)
  • Neoplasms, including cancerous tumors (9.5 percent)
  • Diseases of the nervous system and sensory organs (8 percent).

What Happens to SSD Benefits Applications?

According to the most recent available SSA statistics, in one year alone:

The SSA processed 2.87 million applications for SSD benefits. The outcomes at all adjudicated levels (initial, reconsideration and various appeals hearings) included:

  • 1,041,411 benefit awards
  • 168,367 claims pending final decision
  • 38.5 percent of claims resulting in an award of benefits (awards divided by all applications minus pending claims for the year)
  • 61.5 percent of claims resulting in a denial of benefits
  • 878,834 claims being denied on technical (non-medical) grounds
  • 768,681 claims being denied on medical grounds (applicant did not meet definition of disabled)
  • 11,986 subsequent non-medical denials being issued after a decision that the applicant did not meet medical severity criteria for disability benefits
  • 1,863 subsequent non-medical denials being issued after a decision that the applicant met medical severity criteria for disability benefits.

At the initial application stage, 981,743 SSD claims resulted in a medical decision. Out of that number:

  • 500,011 claims were denied (52.2 percent)
  • 458,262 claims were approved (47.8 percent). 

Learn More About SSD Benefits from our North Carolina SSD Lawyers

If you believe that you qualify for SSD benefits because your disability has left you unable to work for a living, the lawyers of Hardison & Cochran can help you throughout the application process.

An initial consultation about your case is free. Also, our legal services are provided on a contingency fee basis. There is no charge unless we obtain benefits for you.

Call us today or submit our online form. We will get back to you within 24 hours.