There has been a lot of noise about Social Security and Medicare in the last few months. On this site if there is a great deal of discussion about a topic, it involves health, family or finances and it can be studied it will be written about. Social Security disability is one of those topics. In a previous article we covered Medicare, what services cost the most and in what states. In this part one of two articles, we are going to cover Social Security of a specific type, Social Security disability. Why are we doing this? Well, although we have seen charts on the amount we spend on Social Security, not much has been shown on the disability portion of Social Security, how much is spent, on what disabilities and in what states. It is with these two articles I hope to shed some light on this portion of our Social Security budget.
The data used in this article on Social Security Disability was obtained from the Social Security website and downloaded in cvs format. The data was then converted to Microsoft Excel and charted. The resulting output is what you will see in both these two articles on Social Security disability. It is my hope that these charts and the discussion on them will answer some of the questions you may have about the program, where your money goes and to whom it goes too.
In this first chart you will see the average Social Security disability monthly benefit in dollar based on age group. As you can see the older the age group the higher the benefit amount, perhaps because older individuals have had longer periods of gainful work with which to base their benefit about on.
This second chart shows the average monthly Social Security Benefit about based again on age but also by sex. This chart expands on the first to show that women as they age receive benefit amounts that are up to a few hundred dollars less a month.
This third chart shows the same average monthly social security disability benefit based on age group, but just a different way, as a bar chart. You can see that the greatest disability income between men and women occurs between the ages of 60 and 64. A couple of hundred dollars may not seem like a big difference but it can mean the difference between being hungry and having food on the table, especially for the elderly who are on fixed incomes.
When we look at who gets what money regarding Social Security disability we also need to talk about income distribution. Not only does the amount of Social Security disability differ by age group, by sex but also by type of disability and frequency. This chart shows the percent of the total Social Security disability budget paid out by amount dispersed per person. Clearly, you can see that the majority of all recipients of Social Security disability payments receive only 800.00 dollars per month. This about accounts for about 11 percent of the total Social Security Disability budget while the rest is skewed to 2000.00 dollar per month range. My assumption is that those who receive this amount have had enough work credits invested to receive a greater about of income when they become disabled.
Finally, for this article one of a two article series on Social Security disability income, the chart below shows disability income based on working status over time. We can see that workers receive over twice as much Social Security disability income as widowers and dependent children. This brings into question what can couples do to secure long-term income for themselves should one of them pass away. One way could be to set up an Annuity that would pass the benefits onto the survivor. Another way would be to set up a variable whole life insurance policy when the couple is young with the benefits granted to the survivor. Of course, these are just two suggestions. In the second article of this series, we will delve deeper into Social Security disability benefits to see which states receive the most disability income and what types of disabilities receive the most disability benefits.