As America celebrates the Fourth of July and the Declaration of Independence, it's important to recognize the importance of programs that help support the independence of individuals, like Social Security. With the retirement program and the disability program, Social Security provides the basis for many Americans to remain independent.
Neither of these programs allows anyone to live extravagantly, but that is not their purpose. They provide a backstop for the disabled and elderly. The vast majority of American workers are covered by both of these programs. Many may not even know of Social Security Disability until they suffer a medical ailment or injury that leaves them unable to work, but if they can secure benefits, those benefits are often the difference between maintaining an independent life and destitution.
Obtaining SSD benefits is often a challenge. The application can be complex and lengthy, depending on the type of medical condition that has created your impairment to work, and often additional information may need to be submitted after the initial application.
A significant number are denied when they submit their first claim and they may need to make an appeal. An attorney experienced with SSD law can be very helpful in such situations as the appeal is likely to require a hearing in front of an administrative law judge. This can be quite intimidating to many, and an attorney representative can reduce the stress during the hearing.
These programs a large and expensive, SSD paid $10.5 billion to about 9 million disabled workers. Cutting or eliminating these programs would not eliminate the needs for these 9 million individuals. Other programs would need to be started and funded and there would be no guaranteed they would save money or improve the lives of these individuals.
While celebrating the Fourth of July may mean little more than a cookout and fireworks, we should remember to celebrate programs that provide real benefits and a degree of freedom in a concrete sense, that for many would otherwise be denied.