In the past couple of years, it has become popular for politicians to tell people that Social Security benefits, specifically the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program, are entitlements programs for people that are too lazy to work. They also like to say that there is rampant fraud committed by claimants who are not really disabled. While there are obviously some instances of fraud, just like there are with any other program of any kind, this statement and the allegations that SSDI is an entitlement program could not be farther from the truth.
This issue and these commonly held misconceptions have been discussed and dispelled in a recent opinion letter published in the New Jersey Herald. As discussed in the letter, whatever your opinion of welfare may be, SSDI is not welfare. The reason for this is because anyone who works pays taxes into a specific fund that pays for disability programs run by the United States Social Security Administration (SSA). In order to qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits, you must not only establish that you are disabled, but also that you have earned enough quarterly credits to qualify for benefits. Continue reading →