The May 2021 SSD benefits statistics report from the Social Security Administration (SSA) is out, and so is our analysis. Our monthly review explains how disability pay amounts and recipients changed during the last 30 days. This monthly update helps people on disability compare their payments with the national average. Our update below features data from both federal benefit programs: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
May 2021 SSD Benefits Statistics Report
Total Number of Social Security Disability Beneficiaries: 9,547,000
Disabled Workers: 8,102,000
Spouses of Disabled Workers: 103,000
Children of Disabled Workers: 1,343,000
Average Monthly Social Security Disability Benefit Amount: $1,146.79
Disabled Workers: $1,280.17
Spouses of Disabled Workers: $358.92
Children of Disabled Workers: $402.38
How the May 2021 SSD Benefits Statistics Report Affects Beneficiaries
The May 2021 SSD benefits statistics report shows a five-digit drop in beneficiaries since April. With 33,000 fewer disability recipients than last month, this is the biggest loss we’ve noted since December 2020. As expected, disabled workers account for most of these losses, falling by 26,000 during the last 30 days. Surprisingly, there are 1,000 fewer spousal beneficiaries this month – the lowest number ever recorded. For comparison, more than 2x that many spouses received SSD benefits in 1967 (221,195 beneficiaries). This is likely because today, women make up 51% of America’s workforce. Children of disabled workers also lost 6,000 beneficiaries this month:
One number we don’t usually report on is how many widowed spouses of disabled workers get survivor’s benefits. These claimants must be at least 50 years old or have children younger than 16 to qualify for benefits. Last month, here’s how many disabled widows and widowers qualified for benefits:
- 1,716 total survivor’s SSD claimants approved for benefits
- 221 husbands approved for an average of $587.36/month
- 1,495 wives approved for $811.38/month, on average
May 2021 SSD Benefits Statistics: Looking Deeper at the Monetary Stats
Only one group received lower payments in the May 2021 SSD benefits statistics report: Spousal beneficiaries. That’s not unusual, since dependents can add no more than another 50% in benefits to your total monthly SSD payments. Average spousal benefits went down by $.77 between April and May:
For all other groups this month, however, average payments increased. Disabled workers’ benefits went up $.20 during the last 30 days. Benefits for children of disabled workers increased $.45, on average. Overall, this brings the average monthly SSD payment up $.39 for May. Pay fluctuations in these reports indicate whether newly approved applicants had higher or lower work wages prior to becoming disabled.
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Data in the May 2021 Report
The May 2021 SSD benefits statistics report also lists all SSI beneficiaries and average benefit amounts listed by age. Every SSI age category lost beneficiaries between April and May:
Total SSI beneficiaries: 7,834,000 (-16,000)
Children under 18 receiving SSI: 1,081,000 (-1,000)
SSI recipients aged 18-64: 4,478,000 (-14,000)
SSI recipients aged 65+: 2,275,000 (-1,000)
Now, let’s look at how many new claimants the SSA approved for SSI benefits in the last month:
- 43,381 total SSI claims approved in May for $585.45/month in avg. benefits
- 6,809 seniors aged 65 and older (based on age and income) for $466.08/month
- 159 blind or disabled seniors aged 65+ based on disability status and income for $475.77/month
- 9,168 blind or disabled children younger than 18 for $689.81/month
- 27,247 blind or disabled claimants aged 18-64 for $616.05/month
Wondering why the average SSI payment seems so low? SSI beneficiaries also get Medicaid coverage that starts the same month their payments begin. So, the government deducts those monthly Medicaid premiums from each beneficiary’s SSI payment before depositing the remaining benefit amount.
You May Qualify for Legal Assistance
Double your odds of getting SSD benefits on your first try: Have a Social Security attorney file your paperwork. People who qualify for legal assistance through this website typically get $10,000 with their first payment, plus monthly benefits. Think you’re better off applying on your own without a lawyer? The SSA usually denies 2 in 5 eligible claimants the first time they apply! If that happens to you, you’ll wait 18-24 months and file multiple appeals to get your first payment.
Why not sign up for a phone call from a local attorney to get free claim advice instead? You can get confidential legal assistance that doesn’t obligate you to do anything else. All disability lawyers we can connect you with work on contingency. That means if the SSA won’t award you benefits, then you pay $0 for legal assistance. And if you do 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!
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.