Social Security

Disability Insurance: An Essential Part of Social Security

With considerable discussion on the future of Disability Insurance (DI), policymakers need to understand that DI is an essential part of Social Security. More than 150 million workers have earned DI protection through their payroll tax contributions in case they suffer a severe, long-lasting medical impairment. Nearly 9 million of them, mostly in their 50s and 60s, receive disabled-worker benefits from DI. DI’s eligibility criteria are strict and its benefits modest, but it is essential to recipients and their families, including nearly 2 million dependent children.

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Chart Book: Social Security Disability Insurance

Disability Insurance (DI) is an integral part of Social Security. It provides modest but vital benefits to workers who can no longer support themselves on account of a serious and long-lasting medical impairment. The Social Security Administration (SSA) administers the DI program.

The following charts provide important background information about Social Security Disability Insurance.

Part I: Why Is Social Security Disability Insurance Important?
Part II: Why Have the DI Rolls Grown?
Part III: Who Receives DI?
Part IV: What Financing Issues Does DI Face?

 

House Rule Could Hurt Vulnerable Disability Beneficiaries

Buried in the new rules that the House Republican majority adopted for the 114th Congress is a provision that could threaten Disability Insurance (DI) beneficiaries — a group of severely impaired and vulnerable Americans — with a sudden, one-fifth cut in their benefits by late 2016. 

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Basics

Social Security provides monthly benefits to more than 50 million retired workers and workers with disabilities, their dependents, and their survivors.  Though Social Security is best known as a retirement program, one-fifth of the program's beneficiaries are non-elderly adults (under age 62) or children who receive survivors' benefits or disability insurance benefits.

Policy Basics:
- Top Ten Facts on Social Security

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The Center examines the effects of Social Security on poverty (including poverty among children) and on particular demographic groups. We also analyze Social Security reform proposals to determine their likely impact on the program’s long-term solvency and its effectiveness in reducing poverty and hardship.

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Social Security Dramatically Cuts Poverty Among Seniors
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