Annual Statistical Report on the Social Security Disability Insurance Program, 2017
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Size and Scope of the Social Security Disability Program
- Disability benefits were paid to almost 10.1 million people.
- Awards to disabled workers (715,921) accounted for 88 percent of awards to all disabled beneficiaries (812,019).
- In December, payments to disabled beneficiaries totaled almost $11.5 billion.
- Benefits were terminated for 859,020 disabled workers.
- Supplemental Security Income payments were another source of income for about one out of seven disabled beneficiaries.
Profile of Disabled-Worker Beneficiaries
- Workers accounted for the largest share of disabled beneficiaries (86 percent).
- Average age was 55.
- Men represented less than 52 percent.
- The largest category of diagnoses was diseases of the musculoskeletal system and connective tissue (32.7 percent).
- Average monthly benefit received was $1,196.87.
- Supplemental Security Income payments were another source of income for about one out of nine.
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.
Your suggestions and comments on this report are welcome and should be directed to the Office of Statistical Analysis and Support at 410-965-0090 or email@example.com. Contact information is also provided on each table.
Acting 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.
In accordance with Public Law 111-256 (enacted October 2010), the terms “retardation” and “mental retardation” have been replaced by “intellectual disability.” This change in terminology does not affect the data presented, which are directly comparable with the data published in previous editions under the old terminology.
Beginning with the 2010 edition, tables and charts showing data by diagnostic group provide detail for mental disorders in these categories: autistic disorders, developmental disorders, childhood and adolescent disorders not elsewhere classified, intellectual disability, mood disorders, organic mental disorders, schizophrenic and other psychotic disorders, and all other mental disorders. In a few instances, a table showing data by diagnostic group has been split into two companion tables to accommodate the additional detail.
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 Decision-making Process
- Appeals Process
- Benefit Calculations
- Benefits Offset and Withheld
- Work Incentives
- Benefit Termination
(Chart 7 and Tables 31–34)