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Disability benefits are earned benefits

The idea of Social Security is to provide a safety net to the elderly, the disabled and families who have lost the primary breadwinner. The benefits are in place to provide a safety net for vulnerable people across the country who need it most. A recent article talking about the disability insurance portion of Social Security Disability Insurance shares information that many people in California may find interesting. 

SSDI is an earned income benefit. Workers pay into the Social Security fund through tax withholding on their paychecks. In order to qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance workers have to work for 10 years, the same as regular Social Security and Medicare coverage, although the number or work credits is adjusted for younger disabled people. 

Changing demographics have contributed to rising numbers of people drawing the SSDI. Baby boomers are aging and are sometimes using the benefits before the retirement age of 65. Only one in three disability applications are approved upon initial application and less than 40 percent are granted after all levels of appeals have been exhausted. 

Despite political turmoil surrounding this hot-button issue, the need for SSDI remains. As the program is currently written, people have a right to make claims for disability benefits if they are disabled and unable to work. In California, a lawyer can help disabled people make claims in order to receive SSDI. With the assistance of an attorney, it is more likely that the clam will be granted sooner and to the full level of allowable benefits. 

Source: Reuters, "Column: Yes, disability insurance really is part of Social Security", Mark Miller, June 15, 2017

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