How Many People Get Disability and How Much?

In December 2014, nearly 9 million disabled workers received social insurance benefits under the disability program. Since the passage of the 1958 amendments to the Social Security Act, the disability program has also provided benefits to the spouses and minor children of millions of disabled workers. In December 2014, 1.8 million children and 148,955 spouses of disabled workers received these “auxiliary” benefits from the disability Trust Fund.

Number of Disability beneficiaries and amount of benefits paid, by benefit type, as of December 2014:

Number or amount Total Disabled workers Children Spouses
Number of beneficiaries 10,931,092 8,954,518 1,827,619 148,955

Average benefit amount ($)
Monthly $1,165

Annual equivalent $12,208 13,985 4,188 3,774

The average benefit paid to disabled workers was about $1,165 a month in December 2014, equivalent to $13,985 a year. The aggregate income that flowed into the national economy in the form of benefits to disabled workers and their spouses and children was $11.1 billion in December 2014, equivalent to about $133.4 billion over the course of a year.