Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) provides insurance against a risk faced by all Americans: disability. When workers whose earnings are covered by Social Security are unable to support themselves through work due to a major, life-changing disability, they can expect protections against the loss of wages in the form of SSDI. SSDI is a lifeline for many disabled workers and their families in New York, who must meet strict eligibility criteria in order to receive SSDI.
- Circa 7.3 million workers in New York enjoyed SSDI protection in 2011, i.e. could count on monthly cash benefits if they acquired a significant disability that met the strict SSDI eligibility standard.
- 6.5 percent of all New York residents aged 18-64 received SSDI benefits in 2012.
- Of the 3.4 million New York residents receiving Social Security benefits in 2012, 643,454 – or 19 percent – were SSDI beneficiaries.
- In New York, SSDI provided benefits to 517,071 disabled workers in 2012.
- 9,283 spouses and 117,100 children of disabled workers in New York also received vital benefits from SSDI in 2012.
SSDI Benefits in New York are Vital, but Modest
For New York residents who experience a loss in wages due to a severe disability, SSDI benefits are a vital source of income. SSDI benefits also – like all Social Security benefits – stimulate the New York economy.iv Yet, critical as they are, these benefits are quite modest—just barely enough to keep an individual out of poverty. For workers whose wages support dependent spouses and children, these benefits are even more critical. To ensure that New York workers and their families continue to be protected against the risks of disability, SSDI benefits should not be cut.
- Of the $48.5 billion received by Social Security beneficiaries in New York in 2012, $8.4 billion, or 17.3 percent, went to SSDI beneficiaries.
- The typical SSDI benefit for a disabled worker in New York was $12,671, just $1,501 over the federal poverty level for an individual in 2012.
- Eligible spouses of disabled workers in New York received an average annual benefit of $3,789 in 2012.
- Eligible children of disabled workers in New York received an average annual benefit of $4,344 in 2012.