The American Association for Disability Policy Reform    

—   rehabilitation first   —

The Annual Cost of Disability Benefits**

The annual cost of Social Security disability benefits for 2014 can be estimated by calculating the actual cost for 2013 and then adjusting for the annual growth in program costs between 2013 and 2014 using values for previous years.   The primary components, in billions of dollars, for 2014 are estimated to be:

            Title II cash benefits:                                      156.3 billion

            Title XVI cash benefits:                                    55.0 billion

            Medicare benefits:                                            74.1 billion

            Medicaid benefits:                                          183.6 billion


                                         Total cost:                        $469.1 billion

Since the numbers are estimations, we use a rounded $469 billion as the estimated total cost of the disability program for 2014.   This is a cost of $3,208 for each employed person in the United States.

At the current rate of increase, the annual cost is expected to be about $487 billion for 2015 and about $504 billion dollars per year for 2016.   The total cost for the next four years will be over 2 trillion dollars.

**  Shown above is the cost of Social Security disability benefits with the Medicare and Medicaid obligations included.   The total cost is $0.1 billion more than the sum of the components shown because of rounding errors.
      Medicare and Medicaid expenses are for the disabled.   In 2014 the total national Medicare and Medicaid expenses were estimated to be $616 billion and $507 billion respectively.
      According to the U.S. Government Accountability Office, in 2005 there were at least 192 federal government programs which provided some sort of aid to the disabled [GAO-05-626].   The total cost of all of these is unknown.


Last updated on 4/2/15.