By Doug Walker, Deputy Commissioner, Communications
September 8, 2015
Social Security provides an economic lifeline to America’s workers through our benefit programs. We run the largest disability program in the nation. We want to make sure that everyone has a clear picture of the disability insurance program and of the people living with severe disabilities, who receive its benefits.
Because the Social Security Act sets out a strict definition of disability, our beneficiaries are among the most severely disabled people in the country. We provide modest benefit payments to workers who contributed into the Social Security trust fund before becoming disabled. The average disability beneficiary today paid into the disability trust fund for 22 years before becoming entitled to Social Security disability benefits.
When disability happens, Social Security provides support for insured workers and their families. For many disabled Americans, this earned benefit is the only thing standing between them and poverty.
To create awareness about the positive economic impact of our disability program, Social Security is releasing two new online data resources — our new state disability fact sheets and our national disability issue paper. These two online resources show how Social Security continues to fulfill our intergenerational promise of support to America’s workers and their families.
The state disability fact sheets include information by state and congressional district about disabled workers, children of insured workers, and spouses of insured workers who are receiving disability benefits. They also show the average annual disability benefit in relation to the poverty threshold, as well as more specific data about the recipients in those areas.
The national disability issue paper describes the fundamental principles of our disability program, its economic impact, and how it continues to live up to its founding ideals.
We invite you to go to our website and try these useful new resources.