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Over 150 million Americans are eligible for disability through the Social Security Administration (SSA). However, many are under the impression that it’s just a program for older people, unaware of the benefits they are paying for with each paycheck’s FICA taxes.
Much has changed in the almost 80-year history of the program. At its inception in 1935, Social Security only included retirement benefits individuals could receive at age 65. Disability benefits were not an option in Social Security until 1954. But at that time, the SSA did not offer direct payments to workers. Instead, individuals’ Social Security records were frozen during the time period they could not work so those years would not effect future retirement benefits.
Two years later, the program added benefits for disabled workers aged 50-64 along with adult disabled children. In 1960, qualified disabled workers of any age could receive disability benefits along with their dependents. But these amendments didn’t come easily. In the 1940s and 1950s, lawmakers argued that SSDI should exclusively encourage rehabilitation.
Even after old-age pensions became popular through the program, disability benefits were still controversial. Legislation supporting cash benefits for disabled workers was difficult to pass until proponents crafted a bill that limited disability benefits to workers between 50 and 65. And even when supporters were finally successful in 1956, they only had a slight majority. One of the major reasons the program finally passed was the stipulation that some employees are state employees while others are federal employees, yet the expenses remain exclusively funded by the federal government through FICA taxes.
The program has survived despite the efforts of many conservatives who believe it would be best to privatize both the retirement and disability program. But the disability program helps ease the financial burdens of hundreds of thousands of disabled workers. Even then, the eligibility requirements put in place by the SSA are high and many who apply for the program are denied.
Because of this, it’s helpful to have expert representation when applying for Social Security disability benefits. An attorney who specializes in Social Security disability draws from experience to review your paperwork, communicate on your behalf, and ensure everything is submitted in a timely manner. To schedule a free consultation with the staff of Jan Dils Attorneys at Law, call us at 877.526.3457 or click here now.
Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law