Annual Statistical Report on the Social Security Disability Insurance Program, 2020
Benefits Awarded, Withheld, and Terminated
Overall, the number of disability awards has risen from 446,083 in 1980 to 699,100 in 2020. Fluctuations during that period were predominately driven by changes in the number of awards to disabled workers. In 2020, there were 619,636 awards to disabled workers; 57,988 awards to disabled adult children; and 21,476 awards to disabled widow(er)s.
|Year||Total||Disabled workers||Disabled widow(er)s||Disabled adult children|
The average monthly benefit awarded to disabled workers is higher than that awarded to disabled widow(er)s or disabled adult children. The reason for the difference is that disabled workers receive 100 percent of the primary insurance amount, compared with 71.5 percent for disabled widow(er)s and 50 percent for disabled adult children (if the worker is disabled or retired) or 75 percent (if the worker is deceased).
Because men have traditionally had higher earnings than women, their monthly benefit is higher. This is most obvious in the disabled-worker group. Benefits for disabled widow(er)s and disabled adult children are dependents' benefits, so their monthly benefit is a function of the worker's earnings. Therefore, a disabled widow's average benefit tends to be higher than that of a disabled widower because a male worker's earnings are higher than a female worker's. Benefit amounts are about the same for men and women in the disabled adult children group.
|Disabled adult children||667.87||674.15|
In 2020, benefits were awarded to 619,636 disabled workers. Among those awardees, the most common impairment was diseases of the musculoskeletal system and connective tissue (37.3 percent), followed by mental disorders (13.1 percent), neoplasms (12.0 percent), diseases of the circulatory system (10.7 percent), and diseases of the nervous system and sense organs (8.9 percent). The remaining 18.0 percent of awardees had other impairments.
|Mental disorders a||13.1|
|Autism spectrum disorders||0.5|
|Depressive, bipolar, and related disorders||4.8|
|Schizophrenia spectrum and other psychotic disorders||1.9|
|Other mental disorders||2.6|
|Diseases of the—|
|Musculoskeletal system and connective tissue||37.3|
|Nervous system and sense organs||8.9|
|All other impairments||18.0|