Five Quick Social Security Disability Facts

social security disability facts

Many people know that the Social Security Act has been around since President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed it in 1935, but when did it truly come into effect? How many people receive benefits through the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) Social Security Disability (SSD) programs every year? Those thinking about applying for Social Security disability benefits or who already receive payments often want to know more about the SSA and its long history of helping those with disabilities. Here are five fascinating Social Security disability facts from the agency’s history files.



Social Security Disability Facts: Average Beneficiary Age

The average disabled-worker beneficiary in 2012 was 53.2 years old. While Social Security disability does not discriminate by age, the majority of beneficiaries are often around middle age or retirement (between age 50 and 63). However, a substantial number of beneficiaries are either younger or older than the average.

Social Security Disability Facts: Lump Sum vs. Monthly Benefits

Continual monthly benefits started in January 1940. Although the Social Security Act was signed in 1937 and people started receiving benefits then, these were one-time lump sum payments until 1940.

Social Security Disability Facts: Gender Breakdown

In 2012, 55% of beneficiaries were women.

Social Security Disability Facts: SSI Recipients

Those with blindness or a disability made up 86% of Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients in 2012.

Social Security Disability Facts: Temporary Benefits Freeze & Reinstatement

After Congress enacted a two-year SSDI benefits freeze in 1954, the SSA re-added monthly disability benefits due to a legislative motion introduced by the House Ways and Means Committee that was approved in 1956.

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