Disability Facts and Statistics
If you are disable, you are not alone. According to the 2010 United States Census, more than 50 million Americans are disabled. That is approximately 20% of the civilian noninstitutionalized population. Approximately 13 million Americans aged 16-64 reported difficulty finding a job or remaining employed due to a health condition. Approximately 11 million disabled Americans over 16-years of age reported the need for personal assistance with everyday activities, such as getting around inside the home, taking a bath or shower, preparing meals and performing light housework.
Social Security Disability was established in 1954. As of May 2012, almost 14 million disabled Americans under age 65 received disability benefits. The average disability recipient is in their 50s; however, approximately 30% of disabled workers receiving benefits are between 20 and 50 years of age.
Approximately 90% of disabilities are caused by an illness, not an unforeseen accident. The leading illnesses include: diseases of the musculoskeletal system and connective tissue; diseases of the nervous system and sense organs; diseases of the circulatory system; cancer; Cardiovascular/circulatory disorders; and mental disorders. The percentages of these disabilities vary according to year.
Annual disability applications have increased more than 50% over the course of the last decade. According to the Social Security Administration, nearly 3 million applications for disability benefits were filed in 2011.