Disability can affect anyone. It can arrive out of the blue after a car wreck, a workplace injury or even a slip and fall at a grocery store. No one is immune, although most of us don't like to think about. A safety net for people who become unexpectedly disabled from work isn't a "disability issue," it's an American issue. It could happen to you.
If you're 20 years old right now, statistically you have more than a 25-percent chance of becoming completely disabled from work before you reach retirement age. Overall, about one in every five Americans has a disability of some kind; one in 10 has one considered severe.
The Social Security Disability Insurance program is the largest disability benefits program in the nation, and it's not an entitlement program. Instead, American workers pay directly for access to the program just like they would for private disability insurance. Everyone who works in the U.S. pays into through the FICA taxes that are taken directly from our paychecks.
Nevertheless, many people don't seem to know many actual facts about the program -- and that's not just unfortunate, it could be dangerous to the very survival of the program, which serves tens of thousands of people every year.
To change that, Acting Social Security Commissioner Carolyn Colvin recently announced a new public information campaign meant to ensure that every American knows that the SSDI program is available -- and to fight the misconceptions and false information that often get bandied about. The campaign, "The Faces and Facts of Disability," is hosted on the Social Security Administration's website and is meant to facilitate a community discussion about life with a disabling condition and how it can be supported and improved though SSDI.
We encourage you to access the new campaign page and learn the hard facts about Social Security disability. Read the stories of the beneficiaries whose lives have been changed by the program. Share your own disability story. Get active.
If you have specific questions about whether you're eligible for SSDI and how to apply, we welcome you to contact our firm.