Annual Statistical Report on the Social Security Disability Insurance Program, 2003
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Table 35 in the original print and electronic versions of this report contained calculation errors in the column for the percentage distribution of awards to disabled workers aged 62–FRA. The electronic version of this report has been corrected to reflect the correct percentages.
The original print and electronic versions of this report contained errors. In Table 36, the percent listed for "Other," "Diseases of the–" for 1960 and 1961 were incorrectly reported as 0 (zero). In the electronic version of this report, footnote "e" replaces those incorrect figures and indicates the correct figures are less than 0.05 percent.
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Size and Scope of the Social Security Disability Program
- Disability benefits were paid to over 6.8 million people.
- Awards to disabled workers (755,706) accounted for about 91 percent of awards to all disabled beneficiaries (829,831).
- Payments to disabled beneficiaries totaled about $66 billion.
- Benefits were terminated for about 447,485 disabled workers.
- Supplemental Security Income payments were another source of income for about 1 out of 6 disabled beneficiaries.
Profile of Disabled-Worker Beneficiaries
- Workers accounted for the largest share of disabled beneficiaries (86 percent).
- Average age was about 51.
- Men represented about 55 percent.
- Mental disorders was the diagnosis for about a third.
- Average monthly benefit received was $862.
- Supplemental Security Income payments were another source of income for about 1 out of 7.
Since 1956, the Social Security program has provided cash benefits to people with disabilities. This annual report provides program and demographic information about the people who receive those benefits. The basic topics covered are
- beneficiaries in current-payment status;
- benefits awarded, withheld, and terminated;
- disabled workers who have returned to work;
- outcomes of applications for disability benefits;
- geographic distribution of beneficiaries;
- disabled beneficiaries receiving Social Security, Supplemental Security Income, or both; and
- income of disabled beneficiaries.
This edition includes three new tables. One provides state distributions for blind or deaf beneficiaries; one provides the average monthly benefit by diagnostic group and age for disabled workers who work; and the third provides a distribution by diagnosis for beneficiaries who are receiving Social Security, Supplemental Security Income, or both types of benefits.
Most of the data are from the Social Security Administration's program records. Information on the income of disabled beneficiaries was obtained from the 2001 panel of the Survey of Income and Program Participation The panel data were linked to information from the agency's December 2001 program records. In future editions, we plan to add more information about the incidence of disability, reinstatement of benefits, workers' compensation and public disability benefit offset, and continuing disability reviews.
Kevin Kulzer compiled this report for publication. Paul Davies, Carolyn A. Harrison, Thuy Ho, Art Kahn, Melissa Koenig, Kevin Kulzer, and Clark Pickett wrote the programs to process the data and produce the statistical tables. Linda Martin managed the project, wrote data specifications, and validated the data. Emil Loomis designed the cover, Sherry Snyder and Anthony Nathe edited the report, Kathryn Winstead produced the print publication, and Laurie Brown prepared the electronic versions for the Web.
Edward J. DeMarco
Associate Commissioner for Research, Evaluation, and Statistics
The Old-Age and Survivors Insurance (OASI) program provides benefits to retired workers and their dependent family members and to survivors of deceased workers. The Disability Insurance (DI) program provides benefits to disabled workers, their spouses, and children (whether or not disabled).
Benefits are paid from the OASI and DI trust funds. However, not all disabled beneficiaries are paid from the DI trust fund. All disabled widow(er)s' and most disabled adult children's benefits are paid from the OASI trust fund. Persons receiving disability benefits from either trust fund are referred to in this report as Social Security beneficiaries.
Numbers presented in these tables may differ slightly from other published statistics because all tables, except those using data from the Survey of Income and Program Participation, are based on 100 percent data files. In addition, the definition of an award now includes secondary benefit awards, subsequent periods of disability, conversions from one class of child's benefit to another, and it excludes reinstated benefits. These changes resulted in a slight increase in the award counts beginning with 2001 compared with earlier years.
All years are calendar years unless otherwise specified.
- History of the Social Security Disability Insurance Program
- Definition of Disability
- Types of Benefits Available
- Initial Disability Decisionmaking Process
- Appeals Process
- Benefit Calculations
- Benefits Offset and Withheld
- Work Incentives
- Benefit Termination
- Chart 1. All Social Security disabled beneficiaries in current-payment status, December 2003
- Chart 2. All Social Security disabled beneficiaries in current-payment status, December 1970–2003
- Chart 3. Disabled beneficiaries aged 18–64 in current-payment status as a percentage of state population aged 18–64, December 2003
- Chart 4. Age of disabled-worker beneficiaries in current-payment status, by sex, December 2003
- Chart 5. Average monthly benefit of disabled beneficiaries in current-payment status, by sex, December 2003
- Chart 6. Disabled beneficiaries in current-payment status, by diagnostic group, December 2003
- Chart 7. Social Security disability awards, 1980–2003
- Chart 8. Average monthly benefit awards, by sex, 2003
- Chart 9. Disabled-worker awards, by selected diagnostic group, 2003
- Chart 10. Final outcome of disabled-worker applications, 1992–2001
- Chart 11. Social Security and SSI beneficiaries receiving benefits on the basis of disability, December 2003
- Chart 12. Educational level of disabled-worker beneficiaries, December 2001
- Chart 13. Sources of disabled-worker family income, December 2001