Deaf people and Social Security
For many years, there has been a great deal of speculation about government entitlements and the American population of individuals with hearing loss. Although such statistics are not clearly differentiated by the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Program -- they use other categories, which can be seen here (PDF copy of SSI's 2015 Annual Statistical Report, page 71) -- the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) Program does. The following table has been concatenated using information from pages 31 and 45 in the PDF version of SSDI's 2015 Annual Statistical Report.
Notes to consider while perusing the table below:
- Since SSDI is primarily focused on aiding individuals who are unable to work -- either in a significant capacity, or indeed at all -- it is important to remember that the number of beneficiaries with hearing loss is not representative of the general deaf population. Depending on a large number of factors (detailed in the 2017 benefits update (PDF)), the majority of able-bodied deaf individuals may be considered ineligible.
- As with the deaf employment page, these statistics do not account for individuals with additional disabilities.
- The deaf-related statistics are taken from a table (page 45, linked above) that includes statistical information about blind recipients of SSDI; it is important to note that the title of the table states that it is focused on recipients that receive benefits because of blindness or deafness; this suggests the possibility that deafblind recipients are included in one group or the other, but there does not appear to be any information on which group.
|State||Total disabled SSDI beneficiaries per state||Total deaf SSDI beneficiaries per state||Deaf beneficiaries as percentage (%) of total beneficiaries*|
|District of Columbia||16,031||292||1.8|
* Rounded to the nearest tenth of a percent.
Prepared by James McCarthy
Instruction and Reference Librarian