Annual Statistical Report on the Social Security Disability Insurance Program, 2001

 

Charts

Chart 1. All Social Security disabled beneficiaries in current payment status, December 2001

In December 2001, about 6.2 million people received disability benefits as disabled workers, disabled widow(er)s, or disabled adult children. The majority (85 percent) were disabled workers, 12 percent were disabled adult children, and 3 percent were disabled widow(er)s.

Pie chart described in previous paragraph.
SOURCE: Table 1.
Chart 2. All Social Security disabled beneficiaries in current payment status, 1970-2001

The number of disabled workers grew steadily until 1978, declined slightly until 1983, started to increase again in 1984, and began to increase more rapidly beginning in 1990. The growth in the 1980s and 1990s was the result of demographic changes, a recession, and legislative changes. The number of disabled adult children has grown slightly, and the number of disabled widow(er)s has remained fairly level. In 2001, over 5 million disabled workers, 204,000 disabled widow(er)s, and 736,000 disabled adult children received disability benefits.

Line chart linked to data in table format.
SOURCE: Table 1.
Chart 3. Disabled beneficiaries aged 18-64 in current payment status as a percentage of state population, December 2001

Disabled beneficiaries aged 18-64 in current payment status accounted for about 3.4 percent of the working-age population in the United States. In 14 states, they represented less than 3 percent of the state population. The states with the highest rates of disabled beneficiaries--5 percent or more--were Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Maine, Mississippi, and West Virginia.

Map linked to data in table format.
SOURCE: Table 8.
Chart 4. Age of disabled-worker beneficiaries in current payment status, by sex, December 2001

The percentage of disabled-worker beneficiaries increases with age for both men and women. In December 2001, the largest percentage of disabled-worker beneficiaries were aged 60 or older. Disability benefits convert to retirement benefits when the worker reaches full retirement age, which is ages 65-67 depending on the year of birth.

Bar chart linked to text description.
SOURCE: Table 2.
Chart 5. Average monthly benefit of those in current payment status, by sex, December 2001

The average monthly benefit for disabled-worker beneficiaries is higher than that paid to disabled widow(er)s or disabled adult children. The reason for the difference is that disabled workers receive 100 percent of the primary insurance amount (PIA), compared with 71.5 percent for disabled widow(er)s and 50 percent for disabled adult children (if the worker is disabled or retired) or 75 percent (if the worker is deceased).

Because men have traditionally had higher earnings than women, their monthly benefit is higher. This is most obvious in the disabled-worker group. Benefits for disabled widow(er)s and disabled adult children are dependents' benefits, so their monthly benefit is a function of the worker's earnings. Therefore, a disabled widow's average benefit tends to be higher than that of a disabled widower because a male worker's earnings are higher than a female worker's. Benefit amounts are about the same for men and women in the disabled adult children group.

Bar chart linked to data in table format.
SOURCE: Table 3.
Chart 6. Disabled beneficiaries in current payment status, by selected diagnostic groups, December 2001

The impairment on which disability is based varies with the type of beneficiary. In December 2001, other mental disorders was the primary reason disabled workers received benefits; diseases of the musculoskeletal system was the leading cause of disability among disabled widow(er)s; and mental retardation was the predominant reason for disability among disabled adult children.

Bar chart linked to data in table format.
SOURCE: Table 4.
Chart 7. Social Security disability awards, 1980-2001

The total number of awards decreased from 1980 through 1982, started to rise in 1983, and began to increase more rapidly in 1990. Awards for disabled-worker benefits have been most pronounced and drive the overall pattern shown in the total line. Disabled-worker awards increased from a low of 297,131 in 1982 to 636,637 in 1992. Awards to disabled workers have been relatively flat since 1992, fluctuating around 600,000. There were 661,900 worker awards in 2001. Awards to disabled widow(er)s have increased at a much slower rate than have those to disabled workers, rising steadily from just over 16,000 in 1980 to 26,500 in 2001. Awards to disabled adult children have slowly increased from 33,470 in 1980 to 44,300 in 2001.

Line chart linked to data in table format.
SOURCE: Table 24.
Chart 8. Average monthly benefit awards, by sex, 2001

Average monthly benefits for new awards tend to be higher than those paid to beneficiaries who are already on the rolls (see Chart 5). The exception is payments to newly awarded widows, whose benefits are slightly lower than those paid to widows who were entitled in earlier years.

The average monthly benefit awarded to disabled-workers is higher than that awarded to disabled widow(er)s or disabled adult children. The reason for the difference is that disabled workers receive 100 percent of the primary insurance amount (PIA), compared with 71.5 percent for disabled widow(er)s and 50 percent for disabled adult children (if the worker is disabled or retired) or 75 percent (if the worker is deceased).

Because men have traditionally had higher earnings than women, their monthly benefit is higher. This is most obvious in the disabled-worker group. Benefits for disabled widow(er)s and disabled adult children are dependents' benefits, so their monthly benefit is a function of the worker's earnings. Therefore, a disabled widow's average benefit tends to be higher than that of a disabled widower because a male worker's earnings are higher than a female worker's. Benefit amounts are about the same for men and women in the disabled adult children group.

Bar chart linked to data in table format.
SOURCE: Table 25.
Chart 9. Disabled-worker awards, by selected diagnostic groups, 2001

In 2001, 661,900 disabled workers were awarded benefits. Of those with a diagnosis (660,100), the primary impairment was mental disorders (25 percent), 25 percent had a disease of the musculoskeletal system and connective tissue, 12 percent had circulatory problems, 9 percent had neoplasms, 8 percent had a disease of the nervous system or sense organs, and 21 percent had other impairments.

Pie chart described in previous paragraph.
SOURCE: Table 26.
Chart 10. Social Security and SSI beneficiaries receiving benefits on the basis of disability, December 2001

In December 2001, about 9.7 million people under age 65 received benefits on the basis of disability. About 52 percent (5.0 million persons) received benefits from the Social Security program only, 37 percent (3.6 million persons) received benefits from SSI only, and 11 percent (1.1 million persons) received benefits from both programs. This total excludes 64,497 disabled adult children and 730,700 blind and disabled SSI recipients who are aged 65 or older.

Venn diagram described in previous paragraph.
SOURCES: Data for beneficiaries aged 18-64 are from Table 41. Data for disabled children under age 18 are derived from Table 7.D1 in the Annual Statistical Supplement to the Social Security Bulletin.
Chart 11. Educational level of disabled-worker beneficiaries, December 1999

Disabled workers have varying levels of education and tend to be less educated than the general U.S. population. Thirty percent of disabled-worker beneficiaries have less than a high school education, 35 percent have a high school education, 24 percent have some college education, and 10 percent have a college or postgraduate level of education.

Pie chart linked to data in table format.
SOURCE: Table 43.
NOTE: Percentages may not sum to 100 because of rounding.
Chart 12. Sources of disabled-worker family income, December 1999

Social Security benefits are the primary source of income for disabled-worker families. About 35 percent of their income comes from Social Security, 32 percent from family members' earnings, 5 percent from Supplemental Security Income, and only 2 percent from public assistance.

Pie chart with 6 slices. Four slices described in previous paragraph. Two slices show 3 percent of their income comes from property income and 23 percent from other.
SOURCE: Table 46.