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SOCIAL SECURITY

Which states allocate the most money for Social Security disability?

The Social Security Administration offers benefits to those with disabilities to help them cover basic costs. Which states have the largest payments?

Update:
The Social Security Administration offers benefits to those with disabilities to help them cover basic costs. Which states have the largest payments?

Each months millions of workers pay taxes on their earnings that make them eligible to receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). The Social Security Administration (SSA) offers this type of "social insurance" to workers who become disabled. The benefits can also be claimed by the dependents of these workers. The program is designed to replace the lost income for those who are unable to work due to a disability.

Who is eligible for the program?

Before reaching retirement, one in four workers in the US will claim disability benefits through the SSA.

To receive benefits one must "meet the definition of disability under the Social Security Act." The definition is sweeping and includes anyone who "can't work due to a severe medical condition that has lasted, or is expected to last, at least one year or result in death." However, the disability must make them unable to work any job, not just the job they had prior to the onset of the illness.

Which states have the largest payments?

The SSA describes the benefit amount as "modest." In 2019, the average SSDI check was $1,234 for all disabled workers and the SSA noted that it "is barely enough to keep a beneficiary above the 2018 poverty level ($12,140 annually)."

The amount distributed varies by state which could relate to the cost of living in each areas and that average salaries made by those who will claim benefits. The approval rate also tends to vary widely across states, raising questions over the fairness of accessibility to the program. For example, the state with the highest approval rate is Kansas with nearly seventy percent of applicants receiving  benefits, while in Oklahoma only a little over a third of do.

Benefit Amount

In 2020, New Jersey ($1,388), Delaware ($1,348), Nevada ($1,321), Connecticut ($1,308), Maryland ($1,308), and Arizona ($1,307) had the highest SSDI benefits.

Those with the lowest average benefit include South Dakota ($1,168), North Dakota ($1,176), Maine ($1,179), Nebraska ($1,182) and Vermont ($1,186).

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