The Social Security Administration‘s August 2020 SSD benefits statistics report is now available. In our analysis, we’ll explain how disability payments and beneficiary numbers changed over the last 30 days. These monthly reports track how the federal government’s disability insurance and welfare programs help disabled Americans. If you’re a disability recipient, you can compare your payments against this month’s national average. We’ll explore the latest numbers from the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) federal benefit programs.
August 2020 SSD Benefits Statistics Update
Total Number of Social Security Disability Beneficiaries: 9,763,000
Disabled Workers: 8,273,000
Spouses of Disabled Workers: 108,000
Children of Disabled Workers: 1,382,000
Average Monthly Social Security Disability Benefit Amount: $1,126.02
Disabled Workers: $1,258.96
Spouses of Disabled Workers: $357.58
Children of Disabled Workers: $390.30
How the August 2020 SSD Benefits Statistics Report Affects Beneficiaries
Every beneficiary category in the August 2020 SSD benefits statistics report shrank again this month. Disabled workers showed the largest drop, losing 21,000 beneficiaries compared to July. The next-largest drop comes from children of disabled workers, which lost 3,000 beneficiaries this month. Surprisingly, spousal beneficiaries fell again this month the lowest levels we’ve ever reported. That category struck 1,000 recipients from this month’s active payment rolls. Overall, the August 2020 SSD benefits statistics report shows 25,000 fewer people receiving payments this month compared to July:
In addition to these changes, the SSA approved 46,696 new claims from disabled workers in the past 30 days. That includes 24,758 men approved for $1,575.03/month and 21,938 women approved for $1,281.98/month, on average.
August 2020 SSD Benefits Statistics: Looking Deeper at the Monetary Stats
The August 2020 SSD benefits statistics report also lists each category’s average monthly pay amount. This month, every group’s average benefit went up except for spousal beneficiaries. That category received a $.91 pay cut, on average, compared to July. Children of disabled workers saw an average pay increase of $.37 month-over-month. Payments to disabled workers increased $.05 since July, and total payments nationwide rose $.10 this month, on average.
Husbands of disabled workers qualified for $418.27/month, on average; for wives, it’s $378.56. Newly approved minor children received $380.87, on average. Disabled children qualified for $417.16 in SSD benefits. Students aged 17-19 qualified for $483.65/month in SSD benefits, on average.
You may wonder how they calculate payments for spousal and child beneficiaries, since they’re much lower. The SSA uses a maximum family benefit formula to calculate these payments for eligible applicants. For most disabled workers with families, their dependents cannot receive more than 85% of the claimant’s individual benefit. Here’s an example of how that calculation might happen:
- You, the eligible disabled worker, receive $1,400/month in SSD benefits.
- Your wife and two minor children also apply for SSD benefits as qualifying dependents.
- As a spouse, your wife is entitled to receive up to $700/month in spousal SSD benefits. That’s because she cannot receive more than 50% of your total award.
- Your children can qualify for no more than 35% of your monthly SSD payment, or $490 apiece.
- Add those up, and it looks like your family might receive as much as $3,080/month in SSD benefits.
- However, the SSA’s family maximum rule says your dependents cannot receive more than $1,190 in combined benefits.
- For this reason, your family receives $2,590/month in SSD benefits until your oldest child turns 16.
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Data in the August 2020 SSD Benefits Statistics Report
The August 2020 SSD benefits statistics report also includes this month’s new SSI program numbers. Unlike last month, every SSI beneficiary category gained new recipients in August:
Total SSI beneficiaries: 8,042,000 (+14,000)
Children under 18 receiving SSI: 1,128,000 (+7,000)
SSI recipients aged 18-64: 4,614,000 (+2,000)
SSI recipients aged 65+: 2,300,000 (+5,000)
What’s truly interesting is that August saw the largest jump in newly approved SSI claims since March. We expected this, since it takes, on average, about 3-5 months to review and approve each person’s claim. This month, 41,131 new people qualified to receive SSI benefits. Here’s how those newly approved claimants break down, demographic-wise:
- 5,702 seniors aged 65 and older approved for $468.02/month, on average
- 35,573 are newly approved blind or disabled SSI claimants
- 8,990 children younger than 18 awarded $684.47/month in SSI benefits, on average
- 26,583 working-age beneficiaries (18-64) awarded $606.40/month in SSI benefits, on average
According to the August 2020 SSD benefits statistics report, the average SSI benefit nationwide is currently $577.78/month.
You May Qualify for Legal Assistance
The SSA is 3x as likely to award you benefits on your first try if you apply through a Social Security attorney. Those who apply with legal assistance through our network typically receive $12,000 in lump-sum backpay and monthly SSD benefits. You can sign up for a free, no-obligation phone call with a local disability attorney near you. This means a lawyer will call you at home within one business day to answer your claim questions for free.
People who apply on their own without legal assistance often wait up to two years to receive their first disability payment. All disability lawyers work on contingency, so you pay $0 for legal assistance if you don’t win benefits. And if you do win, you’ll only pay a small, one-time fee.
Ready to see if you may qualify? Click the button below to start your free disability benefits evaluation now!
Lori Polemenakos is Director of Consumer Content and SEO strategist for LeadingResponse, a legal marketing company. An award-winning journalist, writer and editor based in Dallas, Texas, she's produced articles for major brands such as Match.com, Yahoo!, MSN, AOL, Xfinity, Mail.com, and edited several published books. Since 2016, she's published hundreds of articles about Social Security disability, workers' compensation, veterans' benefits, personal injury, mass tort, auto accident claims, bankruptcy, employment law and other related legal issues.