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Unexpected disabilities can lead to disaster without benefits

Most able-bodied Americans with sound minds do not spend much time thinking about how to manage a disability. The logistics of a new life with new capabilities are challenging enough without the limitations to a career that a disability may bring.

The chances of a significant disability, permanent or temporary, affecting even the healthiest of Americans are higher than 25 percent. As many people are financially unprepared to be earning less during recovery, disability is also a leading cause of personal bankruptcy in the United States.

Although motor vehicle accidents and workplace injuries are often imagined as the cause of disability, illnesses are the most prevalent cause of disabilities. Workers' compensation and private insurance can help, but nearly half of American households do not believe they could afford three months out of work.

Social Security payments related to injuries or medical conditions is a leading source of the funds people need to get through periods of disability, especially when they have few other options. However, only about a third of applicants for disability assistance from the Social Security Administration (SSA) receive benefits after the first attempt.

If a person believes he or she qualifies for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits, an attorney may help with the preparation of a claim or an appeal if a claim was denied. A lawyer may also help deal with private disability income insurers.

No one should deal with a disability alone, and no one should have to face ruin because of one. Benefits such as those from the SSA can help stave off disaster and help people persevere.

Source: Business Observer, "Risks, and costs, of ignoring disability insurance linger," June 01, 2018

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