SSI Annual Statistical Report, 2003
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Size and Scope of the Supplemental Security Income Program
- About 6.9 million people received federally administered payments in December 2003.
- The average monthly payment in December 2003 was $417.
- Total payments for the year were more than $35 billion, including about $4 billion in federally administered state supplementation.
Profile of Recipients
- The majority were female (58 percent).
- Fourteen percent were under age 18, 57 percent were aged 18–64, and 29 percent were aged 65 or older.
- Most (82 percent) were eligible on the basis of a disability.
- Almost 6 out of 10 were diagnosed with a mental disorder.
- More than half (55 percent) had no income other than their SSI payment.
- For those who had other income, the most common source was Social Security benefits (29 percent).
- About 27 percent lived alone.
Recipients Who Work
- Despite their disabilities, about 324,000 recipients (5.6 percent) were working in December 2003.
- Among working recipients, 57,000 had earnings above the substantial gainful activity level ($800 in 2003).
Since 1974, the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program has guaranteed a minimum level of income for needy aged, blind, or disabled individuals. Each year, we issue a report that presents data on the SSI program and the people who receive benefits from it. The report covers such topics as federal benefit rates and total annual payments, federally administered payments, state-administered supplementation, work incentives, applications, outcomes of applications, awards, denials, and suspension of benefits.
The section on federally administered payments now includes a table showing country of origin of the nearly 1.5 million SSI recipients who were born in a foreign country. Finally, in response to numerous inquiries for data at the state level, we have provided state distributions for applications, awards, recipient rates, and receipt of Social Security and SSI on the basis of disability.
Alfreda M. Brooks compiled the data and prepared the report for publication. Emil Loomis designed the cover, Laurie Brown and Anthony Nathe edited the report, Kathryn Winstead prepared the report for publication, and Laurie Brown prepared the electronic versions for the Web.
Edward J. DeMarco
Associate Commissioner for Research, Evaluation, and Statistics
Unless otherwise specified—
- All payments are federally administered payments.
- All years are calendar years.
In July 2001, the Social Security Administration made retroactive lump-sum payments to correct an error in the cost-of-living adjustment for 2000 and 2001. The data in this report reflect the federal benefit rate actually used for Supplemental Security Income payments ($512 for 2000; $530 for January through June 2001).
Numbers in the text and tables may not add to totals because of rounding.
Monthly data shown in tables are for the end of the given month.
- History of the SSI Program
- The Basic Plan
- Uniform Standards and Objective Criteria
- Assistance of Last Resort
- Incentives for Work and Opportunities for Rehabilitation
- Administration of the SSI Program
- State Supplementation
- Coordination with Other Programs