Number of People on Federal Disability Payments
Author: Wendy Taormina-Weiss
Information and statistics on the amount of people receiving federal disability income in the United States.
Main DigestThe numbers of people who receive assistance from the federal government has risen according to census and other figures.
Federal Disability Payment - The U.S. pays disability benefits through two programs: the Social Security disability insurance program and the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program. The Social Security and Supplemental Security Income disability programs are the largest of several Federal programs that provide assistance to people with disabilities. While these two programs are different in many ways, both are administered by the Social Security Administration and only individuals who have a disability and meet medical criteria may qualify for benefits under either program. Social Security Disability Insurance pays benefits to you and certain members of your family if you are "insured," meaning that you worked long enough and paid Social Security taxes. Supplemental Security Income pays benefits based on financial need.
In the month of June, more than 8.7 million people received federal disability incomes, a population that is greater than that of the city of New York according to the Social Security Administration. The same month, 8,733,461 workers received payments, an increase from the 8,707,185 who received payments in the month of May.
The population of America today is more than 300,000,000 people. Disability is something anyone can experience at any point in their lives. Disability does not discriminate based upon a person's class, race, age, gender, or other type of social identification. From politicians to the average American, anyone can experience a form of disability at any time.
The average amount people received through disability incomes was $1,111.42 per month. The population of New York City is 8,244,910 according to census figures. The numbers reflect the shrinking population of people who are working and bringing in a paycheck. For example; June of 1992 found 118,419,000 people working in America, while 3,334,333 people were receiving federal disability payments; numbers that reveal 1 person received disability income for every 35.5 people who was working.
The types of work people perform vary according to the demands of industry during different time frames.
When economic times are better, safety practices tend to be better as well. People tend to have more co-workers, work shorter hours, and corporations tend to spend more money on safety issues and other practices to ensure the safety of their workers for example. When economic times become more difficult, companies tend to seek ways to cut back on their expenses, potentially leading to safety hazards and the potential for disability among workers.
The month of January in 2009 found the number of people working to be 142,187,000. The numbers of people who received a federal disability income were 7,442,377 or around 1 person for every 19.1 people who had a job. By May of 2012, 8,707,185 people received a federal disability income in comparison to 142,287,000 people who were working; numbers reflecting 1 person receiving disability income for every 16.3 people who were working. In the month of June of this year, 1,899,756 children and 165,469 spouses of people receiving federal disability incomes were also receiving payments, bringing the number of people on disability incomes to 10,798,686.
Statistics demonstrating the fact that one-sixteen of America's working population experiences a form of disability and receives federal disability income are not surprising in the least. The fact that our children and spouses receive this type of assistance is not surprising either. As the economy has spiraled downward, safety and other concerns have also been reduced. Employers have continually sought ways to cut back on expenses, to include the numbers of people they hire.
Federal disability insurance is something that is paid for through a 1.8 percent payroll tax; something that is split between workers and their employers. People who are self-employed pay the 1.8 percent themselves. The Social Security Disability Insurance Trust Fund has experienced deficits for three fiscal years, meaning the federal government has had to borrow money in order to pay benefits. The year 2009 found the fund with an $8.5 billion deficit. In 2010, it had a $20.8 billion deficit, and in 2011 it had a $25.3 billion deficit.
When governments declare war against other nations, the costs are extremely high.
For example; the costs related to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to date have reached in excess of $1,350,524,050,990. Many soldiers have come home from wars with a status of, 'Veterans with Disabilities,' and need federal disability incomes to bolster meager VA disability rating coverage. America has been in a consistent state of war or involved in military conflicts for more than a decade with conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Gulf War.
Governments that focus on matters of war, matters of internal political integrity, and find themselves without the ability to agree on seemingly simple matters are governments that also find themselves lacking the ability to focus on the populations within their nation that need the most assistance. When different party's within a government find themselves unable to agree on budgetary matters, it should surprise no one that deficits such as the ones related to the Social Security Disability Insurance Trust Fund continue to persist. In America today, we have such a government.
The current employment market in America is nowhere near what it should and needs to be. The unemployment rate is well above what it should be. Among the many reasons for the unemployment rate there remains a simple fact - it leads to disability among those who are employed. Wars that have been and are being pursued by America lead to forms of disability by the soldiers who are serving or have served this nation. The burden of the statistics presented in this article clearly falls upon the people who experience the forms of disabilities which qualify them for federal disability incomes, as well as the soldiers who have served America. The burden falls upon the taxpayers of this nation, not on the leaders who declared wars. People with Disabilities also pay taxes of many kinds, from the ones at the gas pump to the ones at stores.
In the State of Colorado, the current tax rate on a gallon of gasoline is 44.4 cents per gallon; take that into consideration. People with Disabilities pay this tax every time they fill up their gas tanks, we pay:
- Utility taxes
- Sales taxes
- School taxes
- Property taxes
- Toll bridge taxes
- Telephone taxes
- Service charge taxes
And a great many other taxes in this nation. The 1.8 percent tax on workers in relation to the Disability Trust Fund is small by comparison. A tax on luxury items such as expensive cars, high-end electronics, expensive homes, and other very expensive items should include a rate aimed at collecting money for the Disability Trust Fund. A tax on workers earning more than $1 million dollars per year should also be aimed at collecting money for this fund, in this writer's opinion, with a rate of at least 3 percent. If nothing else, the fiscal mismanagement of the Social Security Disability Trust Fund by the leadership of this nation must end through a concentrated effort and the end of wars this nation is pursuing by allocation of a portion of war spending towards the Trust Fund.
The statistics presented in this article demonstrate the immense lack of focus on the part of the American government in relation to People with Disabilities. A population of 10 million people in this nation requires federal disability assistance, yet our own government and the program in place for us has run deficits for several years running while the money for wars flows freely into more than a trillion dollars. A portion of that military spending would end the deficit related to the Social Security Disability Trust Fund.
The statistics are a clear reflection of the incredible mismanagement and inability of the leadership of this nation, despite administration, to adequately manage the Social Security Disability Trust Fund and provide for the citizens of this nation who need it most. Running deficits in relation to this Trust Fund reflect a level of fiscal ineptitude that is absolutely stunning. The fact remains that disability can affect anyone at any time - as a nation we must provide for those who experience a form of disability.
- 1 - 33% of Prisoners Reported a Disability in 2011 - 2012 : Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs (2015/12/15)
- 2 - U.S. Disability Statistics by State, County, City and Age : Disabled World (2017/05/30)
- 3 - Skin Cancer in America: Facts and Statistics : Milt Rodriguez (2011/01/28)
- 4 - Local UK Councils Disabled Facilities Grant Spending : Autumn Wiberg (2019/08/06)
- 5 - 2018 Statistics Reveal 1 in 4 Adults Live with Disability : U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2018/08/19)
- 6 - 2019 Report on U.S. Disability Employment Rate by State : RespectAbility (2019/02/16)
- 7 - Combating Autism Act (CAA) - Funding Allocations : Thomas C. Weiss (2009/12/03)
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