Social Security as a Means to Fight Poverty

While many people think of retirement benefits when they think of Social Security, that isn’t the only program run by the U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA).  There are also two disability programs.  The first and most popular, is the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits program, and the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program.  According to a recent article from U.S. News and World Report, it is the combination of all three programs that can help lift people out of poverty, and it is important for Americans to known that Social Security benefits aren’t “just for seniors.”

cashIn terms of Social Security Disability Insurance benefits and Supplemental Security Income benefits, there are roughly 11 million Americans who are able to take care of themselves and their families as a result of these benefits. As the author of this article notes, the vast majority of these disabled adults and children would be impoverished if it were not for these two programs.  However, it is also important to understand that much to the disbelief of those who think we should get rid of the Social Security disability benefits program to save money in our federal budget, nobody is getting rich or even living a lavish lifestyle as a result of these benefits.  They are very modest.  Not only in terms of what people would be earning if they were able to work, but also as compared to the disability benefits programs in much of the developed world.

However, while these benefits can be the only way for millions of disabled Americans to make ends meet, it is not easy to get benefits.  The reason for this is because the SSA rejects many applications on sight without any regard for whether or not the claimant is actually disabled and in great need of benefits.  The reason they do this is because they are often facing a major budgetary shortfall due to those in Congress who want to end the program, and they can stretch out money they have by denying benefits, at least initially.

This does not mean you will not eventually get SSDI or SSI benefits, but it may take a while and your chances of getting a full and appropriate benefits award are much greater if you have an experienced Boston disability lawyer on your side fighting for that full and appropriate award of disability benefits.

When you add the retirement benefits and survivor benefits to the 11 million disabled Americans currently receiving benefits, all of the Social Security programs combined are currently helping to keep around 22 million Americans out of poverty.  It is for this reason that the author of the article says that it is essential to fully fund these programs or else a large percentage of our citizens will have nowhere else to turn.  As noted in the article, not having these programs would be even more detrimental in African American and Latino communities, and that cannot be allowed to happen.

If you or a loved one is seeking Social Security Disability Insurance in Boston, call for a free and confidential appointment at (617) 777-7777.

Additional Resources:

Social Security Isn’t Just for Seniors, October 28, 2016, By Chad Stone, U.S News & World Report

More Blog Entries:

Worker Taxed Thousands for Social Security Disability Benefits He Never Received, June 21, 2016, Boston SSDI Lawyer Blog

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