Demographics Affect the U.S. Social Security Disability Program

Recently, The Urban Institute released a report which details demographic data of the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program. Factors such as geographical location, annual household income, and gender of recipients can all affect the program now and in the future.

For those eligible for SSDI, the average monthly benefit in 2013 was $1,146.  There is a disparity between the average monthly payments for men and for women.  Generally, men receive about $1,271, and women an average of $1,011.  The theory behind the difference is that men and women have historically worked in different employment fields, and even in the same field, have not necessarily received equal pay.

The report also looked at demographics regarding annual household incomes.  In reviewing the economic status of the recipients of SSDI, data shows that they are likely to fall within America’s lowest income levels.  The Urban Institute shows that in 2010, forty-seven percent of DI recipients were in the bottom 20 percent of income levels, and 33 percent of those ages 60 to 64 were at the lowest rung of the economic scale.

Another factor analyzed was where SSDI participants live.  Contrary to popular opinion that the program serves largely urban areas, the largest groups of SSDI recipients can be found in the South.  Of all the 50 states, West Virginia has the highest share of beneficiaries at 8.9 percent, followed by Alabama (8.5 percent), Arkansas (8.4 percent), Kentucky (8.2 percent), and Mississippi (7.9 percent).  Alaska and Hawaii have the lowest percentage of SSDI recipients at 2.8 percent each.  The reasons cited for the higher southern density are state demographics and labor markets, earnings, health, and differences in job types.  Historically, the South has been an economy based on agriculture, whereas the North has been focused on business and financial markets.  The pay scale differences can be fairly significant between most agriculture and business employment positions.

If you have been denied social security disability benefits, or have related questions, contact the dedicated and experienced attorneys at Alegria & Barovick LLP for the representation you deserve.  Call (212) 861-2800 or (914) 761-1133 or visit

2017-01-26T00:57:16+00:00 January 26th, 2017|

About the Author:

When the stakes are high, you want lawyers that have the experience and the passion to win. Anselmo Alegria and Andrew Barovick have been practicing law for over 25 years. They founded their firm in February, 2013. Since then, they have obtained significant recoveries for their medical malpractice and personal injury clients and they have also obtained SSD benefits for scores of disabled individuals who had been denied those same benefits when they first applied for them.