SSDI beneficiary population seen steady increase since 1990

While it often seems as though the only news that comes out about the Social Security Disability (SSD) beneficiary program is bad news, it should still be remembered that the Social Security Administration (SSA) helps millions of disabled Americans through the benefits this program provides. And despite the perception that many may have about the stringency of the SSA's requirements to qualify for such benefits, statistics show that the number of beneficiaries participating in this program has rose significantly in the last twenty years.

According to recent SSA news, there are currently close to 10 million disabled beneficiaries receiving either SSD, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, or a combination of both. Over 87% of those recipients are workers who are currently totally disabled, as SSDI does not offer short-term or partial disability benefits. Yet despite only comprising a small percentage of the beneficiary population, beneficiaries with mental impairments received almost one-third of the payments made through SSD in 2012. Also included in those receiving benefits were over 250,000 disabled widows and widowers, to whom the SSA extended benefit privileges in 1967. All told, the SSA paid out over $10.9 billion to the total beneficiary population last year.

For those unable to work for a minimum of one year due to either injury, or mental or physical illness, SSD/SSI benefits may provide a welcome relief to the financial struggles that they are forced to endure. Those needing such benefits may find a Social Security lawyer to be a good source of information regarding SSA requirements and the application process. 

Source: Credit Union Times "More Than 10.1 Million Paid Disability in 2012" Paula Aven Gladych, Nov. 26, 2013 

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