Blind and Disabled

Recipients

Blind and Disabled Recipients
Chart 1.
Number who work, December 1987–2003
The number of blind and disabled recipients who work almost doubled between 1987 and 2003, from 173,000 to
324,000. Initially, the number of participants under sections 1619(a) and 1619(b) were approximately equal. However, participation under section 1619(b) gradually increased to five times the initial total, and it now exceeds participation under section 1619(a) by more than four to one. The number of working recipients not participating under
either of these provisions has increased by almost 65 percent.

Thousands
300

250
Other
200

150

100
1619(b)
50
1619(a)
0
1987

1989

1991

1993

1995

1997

1999

2001

2003

SOURCE: Tables 1 and 9.

SSI Disabled Recipients Who Work, December 2003 ♦ 5

Blind and Disabled Recipients
Chart 2.
Percentage who work, by state, December 2003
In 14 states, mostly in the South and Southeast, less than 5 percent of blind and disabled recipients were working
in December 2003. The highest employment rates, 15 percent or more, were in the upper Midwest: Iowa,
Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota.

Under 5%

5–9.9%

10–14.9%

15% or more

SOURCE: Table 2.

SSI Disabled Recipients Who Work, December 2003 ♦ 6

Blind and Disabled Recipients
Table 1.
Number and percentage who work, selected months, 1976–2003
Recipients who work

All blind
and disabled
recipients a

Total

Receiving SSI b

Section 1619(b)
participants

Total as a
percentage
of all blind
and disabled
recipients

2,088,242
2,186,771
2,249,025
2,277,859

70,719
83,697
87,697
92,270

70,719
83,697
87,697
92,270

...
...
...
...

3.4
3.8
3.9
4.1

1980
1981
1982
1983
1984

2,334,241
2,340,785
2,314,364
2,391,262
2,499,046

99,276
102,632
107,803
113,899
--

99,276
102,632
102,288
108,734
--

...
...
5,515
5,165
--

4.3
4.4
4.7
4.8
--

1985
1986
1987
1988
1989

2,633,552
2,795,756
2,945,244
3,046,074
3,172,270

--172,855
189,144
205,837

--157,223
173,519
187,583

--15,632
15,625
18,254

--5.9
6.2
6.5

1990
1991
1992
1993
1994

3,386,603
3,681,050
4,126,816
4,544,777
4,870,564

219,932
229,619
248,917
265,649
282,476

196,415
202,355
217,268
230,350
241,793

23,517
27,264
31,649
35,299
40,683

6.5
6.2
6.0
5.8
5.8

1995
1996
1997
1998
1999

5,115,014
5,252,991
5,189,724
5,293,829
5,317,861

298,635
308,300
319,855
326,475
340,618

251,633
256,395
262,766
266,933
271,353

47,002
51,905
57,089
59,542
69,265

5.8
5.9
6.2
6.2
6.4

2000
2001
2002
2003

5,395,935
5,500,481
5,618,506
5,740,683

360,427
346,110
340,910
323,682

276,855
269,655
258,733
252,585

83,572
76,455
82,177
71,097

6.7
6.3
6.1
5.6

2001
March
June
September
December

5,423,974
5,448,865
5,493,302
5,500,481

352,940
353,336
353,207
346,110

274,283
275,435
274,664
269,655

78,657
77,901
78,543
76,455

6.5
6.5
6.4
6.3

2002
March
June
September
December

5,538,532
5,573,711
5,620,838
5,618,506

339,430
342,946
348,244
340,910

266,835
265,597
265,871
258,733

72,595
77,349
82,373
82,177

6.1
6.2
6.2
6.1

Month
December
1976
1977
1978
1979

(Continued)

SSI Disabled Recipients Who Work, December 2003 ♦ 7

Blind and Disabled Recipients
Table 1.
Number and percentage who work, selected months, 1976–2003—Continued
Recipients who work

Month
2003
March
June
September
December

All blind
and disabled
recipients a

Total

Receiving SSI b

Section 1619(b)
participants

Total as a
percentage
of all blind
and disabled
recipients

5,657,353
5,705,871
5,749,384
5,740,683

334,378
329,740
329,195
323,682

259,820
257,724
255,619
252,585

74,558
72,016
73,576
71,097

5.9
5.8
5.7
5.6

SOURCE: Social Security Administration, Supplemental Security Record (Characteristic Extract Record format), 100 percent data.
NOTES: . . . = not applicable; -- = not available.
a. Includes section 1619(b) participants.
b. Includes section 1619(a) participants and SSI recipients earning less than the substantial gainful activity level ($810 effective January
2004).
CONTACT: Clark Pickett (410) 965-9016 or ssi.workers@ssa.gov.

SSI Disabled Recipients Who Work, December 2003 ♦ 8

Blind and Disabled Recipients
Table 2.
Number and percentage who work, by state or other area, December 2003
Recipients who work
All blind and
disabled recipients

Number

Percentage of all blind
and disabled recipients

5,740,683

323,682

5.6

Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California

143,652
8,563
79,323
76,104
823,311

3,714
574
3,423
3,405
42,178

2.6
6.7
4.3
4.5
5.1

Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
District of Columbia
Florida

46,258
45,272
11,868
18,468
317,008

3,931
3,842
804
663
11,080

8.5
8.5
6.8
3.6
3.5

Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana

171,498
15,371
18,965
227,261
89,079

6,990
746
1,674
12,999
5,713

4.1
4.9
8.8
5.7
6.4

Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine

39,519
35,265
164,292
148,516
29,300

6,567
3,920
4,593
5,454
2,206

16.6
11.1
2.8
3.7
7.5

Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi

76,649
126,234
202,241
61,211
109,546

5,602
9,671
13,947
9,222
3,054

7.3
7.7
6.9
15.1
2.8

Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire

106,172
13,520
20,276
23,234
12,113

7,163
1,694
2,934
1,329
1,248

6.7
12.5
14.5
5.7
10.3

New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota

117,604
42,045
496,449
167,763
7,234

7,605
2,142
29,742
7,674
1,332

6.5
5.1
6.0
4.6
18.4

Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island

230,708
66,830
50,785
281,345
25,409

16,582
3,579
3,826
15,481
1,668

7.2
5.4
7.5
5.5
6.6

South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah

92,588
11,272
143,580
346,934
19,648

4,786
2,089
5,242
13,594
2,112

5.2
18.5
3.7
3.9
10.7

State or area
All areas

(Continued)

SSI Disabled Recipients Who Work, December 2003 ♦ 9

Blind and Disabled Recipients
Table 2.
Number and percentage who work, by state or other area, December 2003—Continued
Recipients who work
State or area

All blind and
disabled recipients

Number

Percentage of all blind
and disabled recipients

Vermont
Virginia
Washington
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming

11,884
112,893
96,425
70,987
82,278
5,359

1,071
6,260
5,594
1,976
10,211
760

9.0
5.5
5.8
2.8
12.4
14.2

574

16

2.8

Outlying area
Northern Mariana Islands

SOURCE: Social Security Administration, Supplemental Security Record (Characteristic Extract Record format), 100 percent data.
NOTE: Includes section 1619(b) participants.
CONTACT: Clark Pickett (410) 965-9016 or ssi.workers@ssa.gov.

SSI Disabled Recipients Who Work, December 2003 ♦ 10

Blind and Disabled Recipients
Table 3.
Percentage distribution of recipients and those who work aged 18–64, by diagnostic group,
December 2003
Diagnostic group
Total
Number
Percent
Congenital anomalies
Endocrine, nutritional, and metabolic diseases
Infectious and parasitic diseases
Injuries
Mental disorders
Retardation
Schizophrenia
Other
Neoplasms
Diseases of the—
Blood and blood-forming organs
Circulatory system
Digestive system
Genitourinary system
Musculoskeletal system and connective tissue
Nervous system and sense organs b
Respiratory system
Skin and subcutaneous tissue
Other
Unknown

All blind and disabled recipients

Recipients who work

a

3,953,224
100.0

308,347
100.0

0.6
3.9
1.7
2.6

1.2
1.3
0.9
1.3

22.0
10.0
24.3
1.1

42.5
7.3
15.2
0.6

0.4
4.7
0.9
1.1
9.7
7.8
2.1
0.2
0.2
6.9

0.3
1.2
0.3
0.6
3.0
8.6
0.7
0.1
0.3
14.6

SOURCE: Social Security Administration, Supplemental Security Record (Characteristic Extract Record format), 100 percent data.
NOTE: Effective with the December 2002 edition, all recipients in each recipient category are included when computing percentages for
each diagnostic category. Previously, only recipients with identified diagnoses were included in this computation.
a. Includes section 1619(b) participants.
b. Most disabled recipients classified as blind are included in this category. A few blind recipients with a primary impairment other than
diseases of the eye are coded in other categories. Also, a few recipients are classified with diseases of the eye, but their impairment
does not meet the definition of blindness.
CONTACT: Clark Pickett (410) 965-9016 or ssi.workers@ssa.gov.

SSI Disabled Recipients Who Work, December 2003 ♦ 11

Blind and Disabled Recipients
Table 4.
Number and percentage of recipients, those who work, and section 1619(b) participants aged 18–64,
by age, December 2003
Recipients who work
All blind and
disabled recipients
Age
Total
18–21
22–29
30–39
40–49
50–59
60–64

Section 1619(b) participants

Number

Percent

Number

Percentage
of all blind and
disabled recipients

4,021,956

100.0

308,347

7.7

68,708

1.7

259,361
489,209
717,099
1,042,586
1,035,216
478,485

6.4
12.2
17.8
25.9
25.7
11.9

29,137
72,943
80,117
71,128
42,504
12,518

11.2
14.9
11.2
6.8
4.1
2.6

2,842
17,222
20,243
17,261
8,702
2,438

1.1
3.5
2.8
1.7
0.8
0.5

a

Number

Percentage
of all blind and
disabled recipients

SOURCE: Social Security Administration, Supplemental Security Record (Characteristic Extract Record format), 100 percent data.
a. Includes section 1619(b) participants.
CONTACT: Clark Pickett (410) 965-9016 or ssi.workers@ssa.gov.

SSI Disabled Recipients Who Work, December 2003 ♦ 12

Blind and Disabled Recipients
Table 5.
Number in September 2003, by program status and earnings in December 2003
Not receiving payments
in December 2003
Ineligible because of earned income
Reasons no longer eligible
Receiving payments
in December 2003
Section
Have
1619(a) earnings

No
earnings

Does
Can
not need
pay for
Section
or use equivalent
1619(b) Medicaid coverage

Both

Other
excess
income

Other
non-pay

59

187

57,695

171,274

27
47
65

1
4
7

9
9
22

216
2,121
51,776

747
7,798
159,691

371

47

147

3,582

3,038

Program status
in September 2003

Total

All blind and
disabled
recipients

5,672,313

16,639

230,521 5,126,143

69,285

510

16,949
243,068
5,337,724

9,782
2,608
1,901

2,316
1,935
209,506
16,484
15,460 5,102,321

1,916
4,491
6,481

74,572

2,348

56,397

Receiving payments
Section 1619(a)
Have earnings
No earnings
Not receiving payments
Section 1619(b)

3,239

5,403

SOURCE: Social Security Administration, Supplemental Security Record (Characteristic Extract Record format), 100 percent data.
CONTACT: Clark Pickett (410) 965-9016 or ssi.workers@ssa.gov.

SSI Disabled Recipients Who Work, December 2003 ♦ 13