Social Security Disability Facts

Since 1956, Social Security Disability Insurance has been an effective social insurance program that helps individuals whose physical or mental disabilities are so severe that they cannot work. The inability to work, along with extraordinary disability-related expenses, can make meeting basic financial needs nearly impossible.

Key Facts

  • More than 8 million American workers depend on SSDI for life-sustaining funds
  • Funded from payroll taxes as established by the Federal Insurance Contributions Act, SSDI requires individuals to have contributed payroll taxes to be eligible
  • Individuals must meet specific requirements for disability benefits
  • Disabled Adult Children, and disabled widows and widowers can receive disability benefits
  • Children and spouses can receive auxiliary benefits on a disabled wage earner’s account

By keeping this program strong for people who have paid into the system, it prevents serious burdens such as homelessness brought on by foreclosures, evictions and bankruptcies.