Encyclopedia of Gerontology and Population Aging

Living Edition
| Editors: Danan Gu, Matthew E. Dupre

Social Security Disability Insurance

Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-69892-2_373-1



The Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program is the primary transfer program for disabled workers and their dependents in the United States. It provides partial earnings replacement to disabled workers and health insurance coverage through Medicare. The program awards benefits only for permanent and full disabilities but not for temporary or partial disabilities. To qualify, an individual must have sufficient earnings history, part of which must be recent.


SSDI was signed into law in 1956. Since then, the program rolls have grown significantly over time. According to the Social Security Administration (SSA 2018a), as of December of 2017, $142.8 billion were paid to 10.4 million beneficiaries (disabled workers and qualified dependents). Approximately 5% of Americans at ages 25–64 receive SSDI benefits. Total cash benefit payments and related...

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Marxe School of Public and International AffairsBaruch College, City University of New York; CUNY Institute for Demographic ResearchNew YorkUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Na Yin
    • 1
  1. 1.Marxe School of Public and International AffairsBaruch College, City University of New YorkNew YorkUSA