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Chartbook on Work and Disability

Section 4: Work-related Resources

4.1. How many people with a work disability receive benefits from the Social Security Administration?

The Social Security Administration has two insurance programs which provide benefits to working-age individuals with disabilities: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

In recent years, participation by working-age people in Social Security disability programs has grown from less than 4 million people in 1985 to 6.6 million people in 1995.

The inflation-adjusted cost of cash benefits rose 66% from $23 billion in 1985 to $53 billion in 1994. In addition, the cost of providing Medicare and Medicaid to these beneficiaries was about $48 billion. Thus, the cost of cash benefits and health care benefits for disabled beneficiaries in 1994 was $101 billion. (General Accounting Office, April 1996, p. 20-24)

Participation in Social Security disability programs has grown from the mid-80s to the mid-90s.

Line graph showing number of beneficiaries in SSI and SSDI from 1995-1995.

Figure 21: Number of beneficiaries of SSI and SSDI (in thousands), 1985-95

Source: General Accounting Office (1996). Social Security Administration (1996).

Surveys: Social Security Administration Program Data, multiple years.

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