With about 9 million workers disabled in 2013, the Social Security Disability insurance program provides important benefits to millions of Americans.

Originally intended to provide assistance to the mentally and physically disabled, the breadth of its reach has expanded over the years to include more and more physically disabled Americans.

Who is receiving Social Security Disability and how does the program operate? Here are six facts:

More than one-third of men and one-half of women receive less than $1,000 per month in disability benefits. When women’s earnings come closer to men’s, their disability benefits should increase.

Not many people leave the disability program. Most people who are accepted into the program do not leave it until they retire from the workforce and begin receiving their Social Security retirement benefits.

The most common condition approved for benefits is musculoskeletal disorders. From 1996 to 2014, 65 percent of recipients were receiving benefits for disorders related to nerves, muscles, cartilage, joints, tendons, lower back and neck.

The number of workers who receive disability has increased from 1.6 percent in 1970 to 5.5 percent in 2013. Numerous reasons account for this spike such as an aging population, a decline in employment opportunities and more flexible eligibility criteria.

Southerners are most likely to receive disability. In 2014, West Virginia had the most residents on disability at 8.9 percent. Alabama, Mississippi and West Virginia have the highest percentages of circulatory disease.

Disability benefits are given most frequently to low-income Americans. Just less than fifty percent of disability recipients were between the ages of 31 to 49 and in the lowest income bracket.

If you need to speak to a disability attorney about filing a disability claim or an appeal, contact a Social Security Disability lawyer in Phoenix by calling the law offices of Dayes Law Firm PC to discover your legal options today.

Call 1-800-503-2000 or complete a Free Case Evaluation form.