When political arguments arise about the future of the Social Security Disability Insurance benefits system, it is far too easy to look at statistics and forget there are real people involved.
A Boston disability benefits lawyer knows the benefits program provided by the Social Security Administration serves as an important lifeline for many people who are sick or injured and who cannot work. However, others making decisions about cutting benefits or limiting access may not have had much experience with people who actually rely on SSDI benefits to support themselves and their families.
To help make it clear the SSDI benefits program does a lot of good for many people, the Social Security Administration has provided some personal stories on its website. These stories are found in the Faces and Facts of Disability, and they show how many people rely on SSD when they have a serious health problem.
“Meeting” Those Relying on SSD Benefits
On the SSA’s website, one woman tells the story of being born with progressive nerve damage and of being diagnosed as potentially deaf by the time she was 18-months-old. Because of her disabilities, she faced “attitudinal barriers” from people who see only her limitations. She had difficulty finding someone to hire her, and the Social Security Disability Insurance benefits she received after college helped to keep her from becoming homeless. By allowing her to keep her head above water and providing her with the income she needed, SSDI benefits made it possible for her to stay motivated to “keep fighting harder to live the life I wanted to live.” She finally was able to find a job at age 35 and has been employed for 19 years.
Another woman tells the story of being diagnosed with Guillain-Barre syndrome, which is a crippling medical condition limiting movement. It has left her confined to a wheelchair. Her SSDI benefits “literally” help to keep her alive by ensuring that she can buy gas and groceries. Because of SSDI benefits, she is able to live independently as a member of her community rather than being forced to spend the rest of her life in a nursing home facility.
Stories of illness are not the only ones on the website either. One man tells of how he was working as a lifeguard when he took the day off to go body surfing. He picked up a good wave, but it broke oddly and he was slammed onto the ocean floor and compressed his spinal cord. He was paralyzed from the neck down and had to undergo six months of rehabilitation. His parents cared for him as he recovered, and Social Security Disability Insurance benefits helped to keep the family from bankruptcy. The benefits also allowed him to buy a computer and learn the skills he needed to re-enter the workforce.
These are just a few of millions of stories of people who receive SSDI benefits during a difficult time in their lives. If you are disabled after years of working, you deserve to receive these benefits too.
If you need help getting Social Security benefits in Massachusetts, call the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman for a free and confidential appointment — 1-888-367-2900.
More Blog Entries
Boley v. Colvin: On SSDI Adjudication Procedures, August 21, 2014, Boston Disability Lawyers Blog