The Social Security disability program is designed for individuals who are no longer able to work due to their disabilities. There are two types of benefits within the program: SSD and SSI. SSD is a type of coverage that workers pay into to protect them for a time when they might not be able to work because of a disabling condition. SSI benefits are designed for individuals who may or may not have worked enough to pay into the program, but are now low income due to their inability to work. To learn more about SSI, you can visit our previous blog post here.
A claimant’s disability must inhibit them from working for at least one year or more or is expected to result in death to be deemed disabled by the Social Security Administration (SSA). The SSA has a strict set of rules and guidelines that an individual must meet in order to be awarded benefits. Age, work history and diagnoses all contribute to the SSA’s decision regarding whether an individual is disabled or not.
Congress has not found any evidence of widespread fraud in the Social Security disability program even after years of investigation. They have not found any evidence that the SSA has made any wrong decisions in awarding people who should not have been awarded.
The SSA has done a good job over the years identifying fraud in the program, however, it has lost over 11,000 employees since 2011. The loss of employees is due to the lack of funding Congress has provided to the SSA. The funding is roughly $1 billion less than requested over the past three years although the disability program is growing. The growth in the program is due to baby boomers entering their more disability prone years and more women entering the workforce who have paid into the program, making them eligible for benefits should they become disabled. The lack of adequate funding for the Social Security program and loss of employees ultimately hurts the people applying for these benefits.
Because the disability process can be rather complex, many people opt to get an attorney to help them through the Social Security disability process. Attorneys are skilled in this process and know what the SSA needs in order to make a favorable decision. The attorneys at Berger and Green can assist you in your Social Security disability claim. Contact our firm today.