Completing the Picture: Key Features of the Social Security Disability Insurance Program. About 8.8 Million People Receive SSDI Benefits Based on Their Own Work History

03/01/2014

About 8.8 Million People Receive SSDI Benefits Based on Their Own Work History

On average, about 10 million people receive SSDI benefits. In June 2013, 8.85 million people who were eligible for SSDI based on their own work history received SSDI benefits (Table 1). In addition, disabled children over age 18 and some spouses qualify for benefits, even after the worker dies--more than 2 million additional beneficiaries in 2013.1 Beneficiaries can also receive SSDI benefits concurrently with Supplemental Security Income (SSI), a means-tested program that uses the same medical eligibility criteria.2 In April 2013, 1.6 million people with disabilities under age 65 received both SSDI and SSI benefits (SSA 2013).

TABLE 1. SSDI Benefits: Number of Beneficiaries and Costs
  Number of
  Beneficiaries  
Average
  Monthly Benefit  
Annual
Cost
Disabled worker 8.85 million $1,129 $120 billion
Minor and disabled adult children of disabled workers   1.94 million $337   $7.85 billion  
Spouses of disabled workers 160,000 $302 $0.58 billion
SOURCE: SSA Monthly Statistical Snapshot, June 2013.

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