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Are women less likely to receive disability than men?

When Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) first came into existence in 1956, the vast majority of recipients were male. Twice as many men received SSDI than women did as of the late 1980s. The gender gap among SSDI recipients has slowly been decreasing since the mid-1990s. Now, nearly half of today’s SSDI recipients are females.

Individuals must’ve worked at least 25% of their years since turning 21 to qualify for disability benefits. Applicants must have worked at least five of the last 10 years preceding their disability. This last rule has often kept women from qualifying for benefits. Roughly 70% of SSDI benefits go to individuals age 50 and over.

It wasn’t until the last 25 years that women started working past the age of 50. Many were ushered out of the workforce before this. This often left them ineligible to receive benefits when their disabilities were most likely to occur. Only about 50% of women in their mid-30s met the SSDI’s insurance criteria in 1980. Today 90% of women that same age are eligible for benefits.

Women who used to be unable to qualify for SSDI benefits had to resort to applying for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) based on them having a lower income. Now at least 50% of the individuals who qualify for SSDI are women.

Although a similar percentage of both women and men currently receive SSDI benefits, there’s a difference in how much the genders both receive. The average male brings in $1,320 per month whereas women only get $1,069. While nearly 14% of men receive $2,000 or more per month, only 5% of women do.

There are some reasons why women bring in fewer benefits than men. Statistics show that 75% of men have worked at least 90% of their years since turning 21. Only 50% of females have done the same. An average man’s past earnings are $43,000 per year versus $31,000 for women.

Women are more likely to qualify for benefits based on them having mental disabilities, musculoskeletal impairments or cancer. Men generally qualify for benefits for circulatory diseases or due to them suffering a catastrophic injury.

The amount of SSDI benefits that a person may qualify for is unique and evaluated on a case-by-case basis. An experienced attorney can review your case and advise you of your chances of being approved for benefits here in Oklahoma City.

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