Originally called the Old-Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance program when it was first established in 1935 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Social Security Disability (SSD) is currently funded by the Employed Contributions Act Tax and/or the Federal Insurance Contributions Act Tax. The IRS is responsible for collecting tax deposits earned by U.S. workers that are then placed into several different trust funds comprising the Social Security Trust Funds program. These funds include the Federal Hospital Insurance Trust Fund, the Federal Disability Insurance Trust Fund and the Federal Supplementary Medical Insurance Trust Fund.
Unfortunately, over the past few years there has been misinformation about Social Security Disability. The misinformation and ensuing confusion, was a result of certain politicians referring to SSD as an “entitlement” program that needs to be cut or eliminated. However, Social Security Disability is not an entitlement program nor does it take monies away from other federal programs. In fact, SSD is and will always remain solvent as long as there are millions of American workers paying into trust funds meant to help people who are unable to earn a living due to a physical or mental disability.
Top 5 Myths about Social Security Disability
1. All people have to do to receive SSD is get a doctor to say they can’t work. False.
Unless a person is born with a genetic disorder that makes it impossible for them to ever work (Down’s Syndrome or cerebral palsy, for example), the majority of individuals applying for SSD are initially denied by the Social Security Administration. To avoid delays in receiving SSD benefits, it is essential that you enlist the aid of a lawyer specializing in SSD who can expedite the process by submitting correct forms, filing immediate appeals and improving your chances of receiving SSD payments.
2. Disabled people receiving SSD are mostly elderly. False.
Anyone suffering a disability at any age may be eligible to receive SSD. In fact, nearly 1/4 of all working people in their early 20s are expected to become disabled before age 62.
3. Too many people abuse the system and are living “high on the hog” because they get “free money”. False.
According to the Social Security website, the average monthly SSD payment is approximately $1150. That amounts to less than $13,000 a year in income for someone unable to work. This is only $1000 more than federal poverty guidelines for a household of one.
4. More people are receiving SSD today than ever before because more people are abusing the system. False.
The real reason why more people are eligible for SSD payments is because more women are working and because baby boomers reached peak disability age between 1990 and 2011. It is not due to people scamming the SSD program. In fact, only one percent of SSD cases are ever found to have been filed fraudently.
5. Anyone awarded their SSD case will receive back pay for all the years they were disabled. False.
If you were disabled for several years before deciding to file for SSD, you may only receive back pay for no longer than one year prior to the date you submitted your application, provided Social Security believes you were really disabled before you filed your forms. Retroactive pay is provided because Social Security is aware of the extended length of time it often takes for applicants to be approved and start receiving SSD payments.
Applying for Social Security Disability Insurance
Workplace-related disability is quite more common. When workers are injured on the job, and that injury results in disability, there are two mechanisms within Social Security through which victims of injury, accident, or disease can apply for monetary compensation or benefits. A worker can apply for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplement Security Income (SSI). For more information about applying for SSDI go here.