Recent Stats Behind Social Security Disability Benefits

Often ignored in the debate over how to finance Social Security and whether it is too wasteful is the fact that Social Security benefits provide a lifeline to millions of disabled and low income Americans. Improving service should not come at the expense of hurting Americans truly in need. Below are some of the numbers behind Social Security’s beneficiaries.

Current as of June 2011, the following numbers pertain to the number and demographics of disability beneficiaries:

  • 8,403,000 Americans receive disability benefits
  • An additional 162,000 spouses and 1,862,000 children receive disability benefits due to a disability that a family’s primary wage earner has suffered
  • The average disabled worker receives just $1,070 a month in benefits; a spouse $288 and children $319
  • Just over 8 million Americans receive Supplemental Security Income (“SSI”) benefits, with most between the ages of 18 and 64, but a significant number (1,269,000) being under the age of 18
  • The average monthly payment for an SSI recipient is just $499.40
  • In all of Oklahoma, over 100,000 disabled workers receive disability benefits

The following are some of the numbers behind the financial situation of Social Security:

  • During 2010, Social Security took in $781.1 billion
  • Most of Social Security’s payments go to old-age benefits ($577.4 billion) with disability benefits amounting to just $124.2 billion of Social Security’s payouts
  • From Social Security’s start in 1937 through the end of 2010, its programs have provided over $12 trillion in benefits to Americans, both retired and disabled

Troutman & Troutman, P.C. – Tulsa Social Security disability attorneys


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