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Some Basic Facts About Social Security Disability

Disabled workers and their dependents account for 16% of total Social Security benefits paid in December 2013.

About 90 percent of workers age 21-64 in covered employment in 2013 and their families have protection in the event of a long-term disability.

FAQs: Disability Benefits for Wounded Warriors

Are Disabled Military Service Members Eligible for Social Security Disability Benefits While on Active Duty?

Members of the military are entitled to Social Security disability while on active duty if they otherwise meet the general qualifications for benefits.

Many Individuals Continue Working Despite Disabilities

As the age of eligibility for full retirement benefits increases, many people with disabilities continue to work, despite their disabling conditions. In February 2015, disabled workers comprised 19.8% of the U.S. Labor force. (Source: Department of Labor, Office of Disability Employment Policy) Many disabled workers do everything they can to keep their jobs even in the face of serious injuries or illnesses.

Retirement Age is on the Rise

The age of retirement with full Social Security benefits used to be 65, and early retirement benefits, with a reduction of the full benefit amount, were available at age 62. Currently, the full Social Security benefit retirement age is 66 for people born between 1943 and 1954, and it will gradually rise to 67 for those born in 1960 or later.

Over Ten Million People Receive Disability Benefits Despite Recent Decline in Numbers

For more than thirty years, the number of disabled individuals receiving Social Security disability insurance benefits increased exponentially. That number grew from 4,265,981 in 1990 to 6,673,362 in 2000. By December 2013, the number of people receiving disability benefits was at an all-time record high of 10,988,000. This dramatic increase has been attributed to the changing nature of the workforce during that time period, particularly the aging of the baby boomer generation which accounted for the largest increase in the number of workers in the last century.

The Social Security Benefit Gender Gap is Shrinking

The percentage of women who have worked in jobs with Social Security payroll tax deductions has increased dramatically in recent years, a reflection of the increased participation by women in the workforce. As a result, women now can qualify for both retirement and disability benefits from SSA in far greater numbers.

Many Totally Disabled Veterans Are Denied SSDI Benefits

A recent study published by the Social Security Administration contains some interesting facts about the number of totally disabled veterans who do not qualify for Social Security Disability benefits (SSDI). Between 2000 and 2006, more than half of veterans who were considered totally disabled by the Veteran’s Administration (or 100% VA disabled) due to service-related impairments were denied SSDI benefits upon their initial application.

Undocumented Workers Make a Surprisingly Positive Financial Impact on Social Security’s Fiscal Health

According to the Social Security Administration, undocumented workers contributed over $100 billion in payroll tax (FICA) contributions to the Social Security Trust funds in the past decade. In 2010 alone, these workers paid an estimated $13 billion in Social Security taxes, but only received $1 billion in benefits.

Your Social Security Benefits Can Be Garnished by Student Loan Debts

Have you forgotten that unpaid student loan you have from college? Unpaid student loan debt held by Americans has skyrocketed in recent years. As with younger Americans, the amount of student loans owed by individuals ages 60 and older has increased dramatically as educated baby-boomers enter their older years.

Social Security Benefits and Same-Sex Marriage

In U.S. v. Windsor, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on June 26, 2013 that the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutional insofar as it prohibits federal agencies such as the Social Security Administration from considering the claims of same-sex couples.

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