Our January 2018 SSD benefits statistics analysis breaks down the newest report from the Social Security Administration (SSA). Every 30 days, the SSA updates its monthly claims data to reflect current numbers. That way, active beneficiaries can compare their own checks against the national average. This data also gives new claimants an idea of what to expect if and when the SSA approves their disability benefits applications. Below, we’ll explain this year’s first disability claims report from the SSA and what the numbers could mean for future applicants.
January 2018 SSD Benefits Statistics Update
Total Number of Social Security Disability Beneficiaries: 10,391,000
Disabled Workers: 8,677,000
Spouses of Disabled Workers: 124,000
Children of Disabled Workers: 1,589,000
Average Monthly Social Security Disability Benefit Amount: $1,059.84
Disabled Workers: $1,197.07
Spouses of Disabled Workers: $335.61
Children of Disabled Workers: $367.22
How the January 2018 SSD Benefits Statistics Report Affects Beneficiaries
Beneficiary numbers in the January 2018 SSD benefits statistics report fell across every category this month. While the SSA reported 20,000 fewer total SSD beneficiaries, these numbers are the lowest we’ve ever seen. In fact, there are now 600,000 fewer total recipients than we saw in May 2015, representing a 6% overall drop. Disabled workers fell the most, with 18,000 fewer on January’s SSD rolls. Spousal beneficiaries fell by 2,000, while 1,000 fewer children received SSD benefits compared to December 2017’s report.
The SSA also removes any fraudulent, deceased or newly employed claimants from active-payment status in the next month’s SSD report. Of course, it’s possible that improved efficiency in monthly reporting helped clean up now-inactive accounts. Still, changes in the January 2018 SSD benefits statistics report show the biggest single-month change in beneficiaries since July 2015! With the new COLA increase in effect, lower numbers weren’t what we expected to see in January’s statistical report. If anything, we expected beneficiary numbers to go up — could this mean that more disabled Americans are finding jobs that can accommodate their limitations? Stay tuned…
January 2018 SSD Benefits Statistics: Looking Closer at Monetary Averages
The January 2018 SSD benefits statistics report shows another positive trend in every category because average payment amounts went up. In total, the average monetary amount saw a modest $.21 increase compared to last month’s checks. Disabled workers didn’t get much extra, unfortunately; the SSA only added two more cents to this month’s payments in comparison. Spouses got a $.19 raise, while children enjoyed the biggest increase this month with $.82 added to their checks. As SSD payments go up and beneficiary rolls decline, we may see more disabled Americans apply for benefits this year.
You May Qualify for Free Claim Assistance
If you haven’t yet filed your Social Security disability claim, you may find the application process overwhelming. Luckily, you don’t have to do it all alone — an experienced Social Security attorney or disability advocate can help you. The attorneys and advocates in our network offer confidential, in-person consultations to answer your disability claim questions free of charge.
Today, the SSA automatically rejects 38% of SSD claims filed because applicants made simple mistakes while filling out the forms. If you’re eligible for benefits but make one error, it could delay your first payment for at least six months! As a result, many eligible disabled applicants only win SSD benefits from the SSA after they file an appeal. Most people too disabled to work can’t afford to wait that long for SSD payments, which they need to survive.
Having an attorney file your claim is the best way to get the most SSD benefits you’re rightfully owed faster. Most SSD lawyers work on a contingency basis, so you don’t have to worry about paying them anything upfront. That means unless your lawyer helps your claim win benefits, you pay nothing. And if you do win benefits, legally, lawyers can only charge a small, one-time fee deducted from your back pay.
Ready to see if you may qualify for legal assistance when you apply for SSD benefits? Click the button below to start your free benefits claim 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 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.