Many people across the country have relied for years on Social Security Disability (SSD) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits as their primary source of income due to an inability to work because of a physical or mental impairment. Yet many of these people are surprised to learn that the Social Security Administration (SSA) is constantly monitoring their benefit status, and any changes in their finances could result in the termination of those benefits. As such, those in St. Louis receiving those benefits are advised to be aware of any changes to their income from any source so as to avoid a being disqualified by the SSA.
For those in St. Louis unable to work due to a serious injury or illness, or those families supporting a family member who is disabled, the benefits received through either Social Security Disability (SSD) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) provide a welcome financial relief every month. Yet those who may think that this assistance allows recipients to live extravagantly need to think again; research has actually shown that those receiving SSD or SSI benefits are still more likely to face homelessness or declare personal bankruptcy than the rest of the general population. That’s because SSD/SSI benefits do not fully replace work income, but rather provide a predetermined amount of funds to help sustain one until the assistance is no longer required.
While Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits currently assist many in St. Louis and across the U.S. that are either unable to work or forced to care for another that is permanently disabled, there are still many out there that are in need of such assistance, yet for some reason are unable to qualify. Critics of the Social Security Administration's (SSA) qualification guidelines say that they are far too strict, denying families who genuinely need the assistance. Yet SSD proponents point to the potential opportunities for fraud and the SSA's ability to thus far accurately distribute payments to qualified beneficiaries as proof enough that current guidelines work.
It seems one can’t tune into any of the St. Louis airwaves these days from more than five minutes without hearing about some new scandal involving Social Security fraud. People attempting to game the system, as well as shortcomings within the system itself that have led to improper payments have seemingly forced the SSA to tighten those qualifications for Social Security disability benefits for injury or mental illness even further. Yet these examples of fraud and abuse shouldn’t be seen as representative of the SSD beneficiary population as a whole. Most view these benefits as a brief form of assistance while they prepare themselves to be able to reenter the workforce after an accident injury.