Annual Statistical Report on the Social Security Disability Insurance Program, 2008
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Table 58 in the original print and web versions of this report incorrectly contained December 2007 data instead of December 2008 data. All the data in Table 58 has been corrected in the web version of this report.
Table 25 in the original print and web versions of this report contained errors. All the data in Table 25 has been corrected in the web version of this report.
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Size and Scope of the Social Security Disability Program
- Disability benefits were paid to over 8.5 million people.
- Awards to disabled workers (877,226) accounted for about 89 percent of awards to all disabled beneficiaries (987,525).
- In December, payments to disabled beneficiaries totaled more than $8.6 billion.
- Benefits were terminated for 563,314 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 (87 percent).
- Average age was over 52.
- Men represented nearly 53 percent.
- Mental disorders was the diagnosis for about a third.
- Average monthly benefit received was $1,063.10.
- 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;
- workers' compensation and public disability benefits;
- benefits awarded, withheld, and terminated;
- disabled workers who have returned to work;
- outcomes of applications for disability benefits; and
- disabled beneficiaries receiving Social Security, Supplemental Security Income, or both.
Kevin Kulzer managed the preparation of the data in this report. Hazel Jenkins, Art Kahn, Kia Masseaux, Sheron Matthews, and Clark Pickett wrote the programs to process the data and produce the statistical tables. Glenda Carter wrote data specifications. Glenda Carter, Hazel Jenkins, and Kia Masseaux validated the data. Staff of the Division of Information Resources edited the report and prepared the print and electronic versions for publication.
Manuel de la Puente
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.
Data for 2001 and subsequent years presented in these tables may differ slightly from other published statistics for two reasons. First, all data for those years are based on 100 percent data files. Second, beginning in 2001, the definition of an award was changed to include secondary benefit awards, subsequent periods of disability, and conversions from one class of child's benefit to another and to exclude reinstated benefits. Those changes resulted in a slight increase in the award counts.
The tables on noninstitutionalized beneficiaries based on the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) have been removed from the Annual Statistical Report on the Social Security Disability Insurance Program. Because of increased attrition of survey participants over time and increasingly low match rates to administrative data, attempts were made to improve the reliability of estimates based on the SIPP. The Office of Research, Evaluation, and Statistics (ORES) contracted with the Census Bureau to conduct a special SIPP-based interview of Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income beneficiaries. Estimates based on the additional data were not available when this report was published. However, ORES anticipates publishing these estimates in another publication as well as highlighting the changes in the data and the reliability of the estimates. This decision reinforces the inherent differences between the survey data used to produce the estimates of noninstitutionalized beneficiaries and the administrative data used in this publication.
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 7 and Tables 31–34)