Those who are facing a long-term injury or disability that will make it difficult or impossible to work may qualify for Social Security Disability payments. However, it can be difficult to qualify and strict rules apply for those who do send in an application for disability payments. For example, the injury must last for more than one year or until the applicant dies. In addition, the applicant must be under his or her full retirement age.
With more than 34 million Americans receiving Social Security benefits, Missouri residents may wonder how the system works for them. Social Security provides ninety percent of income for one-third of retired Americans. One-fifth of retired Americans receive no income other than Social Security. With so many people dependent on Social Security to cover most of their post-retirement expenses, it is important to understand how the system works.
Residents of Missouri who are waiting for approval of Social Security Disability claims may be interested in the findings of a new report issued by Republican members of the House Oversight Committee. According to the report, 191 of the more than 1,400 administrative judges employed by the Social Security Administration approved more than 85 percent of disability cases between 2005 and 2013 with at least one judge reportedly approving 99 percent of his cases. The congressional representatives behind the report claim that the data shows that these judges have been engaged in rubber-stamping these claims without proper scrutiny at a cost of billions to a program that is already struggling financially.
Missouri readers might be interested in the details of a Social Security Disability benefits case from Tennessee where a man was denied benefits despite a lengthy medical file. His doctor, who has practiced internal medicine for more than 25 years, said the man suffered with his illness for 15 or 20 years before even applying to the Social Security Administration. The doctor has never before publicly pleaded that a patient be awarded disability benefits.