Disabled individuals in the United States face many challenges including unemployment rates higher than the average as well as a medical care system that can be difficult to navigate. Unfortunately, another problem that the disabled face is that there are only limited benefits programs available to provide income. Those who are disabled and who cannot work can qualify for assistance only if they have a long-term disabling condition that will last a year and that meets specific requirements set forth by the Social Security Administration.
The SSA administers two programs that cater to the disabled: Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). Both are very difficult to qualify for and you will likely need the assistance of a Boston Social Security Disability attorney if you wish to make a benefits claim. The SSD system not only denies more than 50 percent of applicants, but it is also underfunded and faced with myriad additional problems as well. Recently, the Public Broadcasting System (PBS) published an in-depth article pointing out some of the many problems that plague the Social Security system.
Problems with the Social Security System
The PBS article was specifically focused on inequities within the Social Security System, of which there are many. Problems include the following:
- Benefits don’t necessarily reflect contributions. A person could work and pay into Social Security for his whole life and could end up receiving less money in benefits than someone who has not ever contributed even $1.00 to the system. This is why it is especially upsetting when someone who has worked and paid in has his disability claim denied. SSD benefits are an earned benefit and if you are sick and cannot work, you need to get help from an attorney to get the benefits that you deserve.
- Your marriage can have a major impact. When you get married or divorced, this can affect eligibility for SSD benefits dramatically. As PBS points out, getting married or divorced on the wrong day could also cost you thousands. For the disabled, it may be possible to qualify for SSD benefits under a spouse’s work record, so it is important to consider this if you are making a claim for disability income.
- The maximum family benefits formula is not fair. Disabled workers have a formula that is less generous for calculating the maximum family benefit than for retired individuals.
- Social Security has financial problems. The system is at least 32 percent underfinanced. Despite this, much of the news media focuses on private pension crises while ignoring the looming Social Security disaster that could occur if something doesn’t change.
- Children’s benefits may be unfairly limited. If a child becomes disabled when he is young and has no work record, he may be limited to Supplemental Security Income (SSI) unless he can qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSD) based on a parent’s work record. Unfortunately, eligibility to do this ends when the child reaches exactly 22 years-of-age. This means someone disabled on his 22nd birthday is one day too late to maximize his disability income.
These problems are just some of the issues that can affect your benefits. An experienced Social Security Disability lawyer can help you to maximize the money you receive from the SSA by making smart choices on when and how to apply for disability income.
Call our Boston SSDI attorneys for a free and confidential appointment at 1-888-367-2900.
More Blog Entries:
MA Makes Top 10 for Disability Services, April 23, 2014, Boston Social Security Disability Lawyer Blog