Over 100,000 People Removed from Social Security

Nationwide, more than 100,000 people have been removed from SSI in the past year, according to data from the Social Security Administration (SSA).

The number of people claiming Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits dropped by 119,395 between May 2023, when 7,380,737 payments were made, and May 2024, when 7,261,342 people received disability checks.

Adults and children with disabilities, or who are blind, with little to no income are eligible to receive SSI. The majority of SSI claimants are those in this category, making up around 6.1 million of the 7.2 million on the SSA’s payroll for this type of benefit. The other 1.1 million are in the 65 and over category.

Across the two eligibility categories, more disabled or blind recipients were no longer collecting the benefit in 2024, with a total drop of 140,034, down from 6,281,068 in May 2023 to 6,141,034 in May 2024. The overall number of claimants in the 65 plus category rose from 1,099,669 to 1,120,308 – an increase of 20,639.

Walking stick
A file photo of a person holding a walking stick. SSI benefits are provided to help those with blindness, a disability, or who are over 65 with limited or no income or resources.


It isn’t immediately clear why the number of disabled or blind SSI recipients declined within the time period. Newsweek has contacted the SSA for comment via email.

Some states saw more than 10,000 people no longer registered to receive SSI benefits. California, which has the highest number of people claiming across all 50 states, saw a drop of 16,573 SSI claims between May 2023 and 2024. The majority of these were those who are considered blind or disabled, with the number of claimants dropping from 708,695 in this category to 690,351 – meaning more than 17,000 are no longer collecting disability benefits.

Texas had 14,587 less SSI claims than in May 2023, from 591,710 down to 577,123. Other population-dense states also saw drops in the number of claimants, with New York’s number of SSI claimants dropping from 568,777 to 559,222.

In other states, the numbers of people claiming SSI benefits stayed roughly the same. The amount of SSI recipients in North Dakota dropped by only 17 people, from 7,923 last year to 7,906 this year. All but one of these was a disabled or blind recipient.

Small changes were also reported in other states, including Rhode Island, where the number of beneficiaries from year-to-year fluctuated by around 300 people, from 30,317 in 2023 to 30,015 this May.

Last month, the SSA announced a major change to the way it makes decisions regarding claims for SSI and Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. The government agency said it would remove a number of obsolete or seldom performed jobs, including occupations like reptile farmer and railroad telegrapher, from a list used to determine whether an applicant for disability benefits can perform that job based on their abilities.

An SSA spokesperson confirmed to Newsweek that the changes became effective as of June 22, 2024.