How Many Women Receive Social Security Disability Benefits?

In 1970 approximately 43% of women worked. By 2010, that percentage increased to about 59%. That increase had many important impacts, including protection for individual women. Today, more women may qualify for Social Security disability if they are unable to work and, thus, be protected against at least some of the potentially devastating financial effects of a permanently disabling medical condition.

How Many Women Qualify? A Look at the Statistics

According to the Social Security Administration (SSA), in 2010:

  • 47% of all disabled workers were women.
  • About 4.4 million women received Social Security disability benefits in December 2010.
  • For about 58% of the 4.4 million women who received benefits in December 2010, Social Security disability made up at least 75% of their income.
  • 23% of the women receiving Social Security disability benefits in December 2010 were living in poverty.
  • Without Social Security disability, the percentage of disabled women in poverty would more than double.

Thus, it is reasonable to conclude that the Social Security disability program has had a profound impact on the lives of many female workers in this country.

What This Means for Individual Female Workers

While these statistics are important, it is each of these individual Social Security disability recipients who benefits from the program. If you are a female worker, it is important to know that you might be able to receive Social Security disability if you meet the eligibility qualifications. However, first you must apply for such benefits. For more information about how to do that, please download a FREE copy of our book, Social Security Disability: What You Need to Know.

Carl M. Weisbrod
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Managing Partner of Morgan & Weisbrod, Board Certified in Social Security Disability Law
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