December 2020 SSD Benefits Statistics Report

December 2020 SSD Benefits Statistics Report

Dive into our analysis of the December 2020 SSD benefits statistics report from the Social Security Administration (SSA). You’ll learn how disability amounts and beneficiary numbers changed during the last 30 days. These reports track how federal disability and welfare programs offer financial aid to disabled Americans. If you’re on disability, these reports show how your payments compare to the national average. This review includes the latest data for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) as well as Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients.

December 2020 SSD Benefits Statistics Report

Total Number of Social Security Disability Beneficiaries: 9,618,000

Disabled Workers: 8,151,000

Spouses of Disabled Workers: 104,000

Children of Disabled Workers: 1,363,000

Average Monthly Social Security Disability Benefit Amount: $1,142.68

Disabled Workers: $1,277.05

Spouses of Disabled Workers: $360.51

Children of Disabled Workers: $399.00

How the December 2020 SSD Benefits Statistics Report Affects Beneficiaries

The December 2020 SSD benefits statistics report shows near-identical drops in every beneficiary category as November. In other words, at least 39,000 people left the SSD active-payment rolls during that 30-day period. So, let’s focus instead on how much these numbers changed since the start of 2020. In December, there were 289,000 fewer people getting SSD benefits than we saw in the January 2020 report. That’s approximately the same number of people as the population of Lincoln, Nebraska! This number includes 209,000 disabled workers, 8,000 spouses and 72,000 children.

December 2020 SSD benefits statistics report: total beneficiaries

Another key metric to consider: Every day, about 10,000 baby boomers reach their normal retirement age (currently 66). So, some portion of these SSD beneficiary losses are from people converting from disability to regular Social Security payments. Now, let’s compare SSD beneficiary approvals for 2020 vs. 2018-2019:

  • 733,879 total SSD claims approved in 2018
  • 61,157 new SSD beneficiaries per month, on average
  • 723,858 total SSD claims approved in 2019
  • 60,322 new SSD beneficiaries per month, on average
  • 648,121 total SSD claims approved in 2020
  • 54,010 new SSD beneficiaries per month, on average

We can’t know how much the ongoing pandemic affected these numbers, but it’s certainly a notable difference.

December 2020 SSD Benefits Statistics: Looking Deeper at the Monetary Stats

The December 2020 SSD benefits statistics report shows some striking jumps in average pay amounts across all beneficiary groups. Average payments to disabled workers rose $16.48/month compared to November. However, benefits for spouses increased just $4.17, on average, during the last 30 days. Payments to children of disabled workers nationwide rose $5.63/month, on average. Overall, the average monthly disability payment across the U.S. rose $14.79 from November to December.

December 2020 SSD benefits statistics report: monthly monetary average

Generally, this indicates that many people dropping out of active-payment status had relatively lower average lifetime earnings. Newer beneficiaries approved within the past 6-12 months likely earned higher paychecks before becoming disabled. The sharp rise in average pay amounts all SSD groups is the likely result.

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Data in the December 2020 Report

The December 2020 SSD benefits statistics report also tracks the SSI program’s total beneficiaries and average monthly payments. All categories lost beneficiaries month-over-month, as you can see below:

Total SSI beneficiaries: 7,960,000 (-34,000)

Children under 18 receiving SSI: 1,109,000 (-9,000)

SSI recipients aged 18-64: 4,556,000 (-22,000)

SSI recipients aged 65+: 2,295,000 (-3,000)

Average SSI payments for all age groups also went down this month. Current amounts broken down by category as of December 2020 are:

  • $575.73/month for all SSI beneficiaries nationwide, on average
  • $675.47/month for children younger than 18
  • $605.75/month for SSI recipients aged 18-54
  • $468.09/month for those aged 65 and older

Can you afford to wait 24 months with no income while you wait to hear if you’re approved or denied? If not, have a Social Security attorney file your disability claim to double your odds of getting benefits right away. People who apply on their own without legal assistance typically don’t win benefits until they appeal their denials in court. However, you can sign up for free legal advice about your claim over the phone directly through this website. Most people who qualify for legal assistance through our website get $10,000 in lump-sum backpay in addition to monthly disability.

All lawyers in our network provide contingency-based representation. That means you pay $0 for legal assistance if the SSA doesn’t grant you benefits. And if you win, then 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!

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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, Yahoo!, MSN, AOL, Xfinity,, 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.