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How is Social Security Disability insurance funded?

Millions of American and residents of Illinois rely on the government program, Social Security, to care for them as they age or if they are injured and unable to work. Social Security Disability is used to provide benefits to workers who have a significant impairment or illness that stops them from working. According to the National Academy of Social Insurance, the condition must result in death in a year or last at least one year.

While disabled workers can draw from the program, what many may not understand is that they also pay for it. There is a Social Security tax that the federal government collects with every paycheck. There is a cap to how much an individual must pay in Social Security taxes and that is adjusted each year as wages change. In 2017, the tax could be up to 6.2% of the person’s earnings. While 5.015% went to survivor and retirement benefits, the other 1.185% went to the fund used for disability insurance.

There are extremely strict requirements on who gets Social Security Disability insurance. The person must not only be too impaired to do their current job, but lack the ability to engage in any other type of industry or employment because of their disability. Vocational and medical determinations regarding whether individuals meet the Social Security Administration’s test are often made by state agencies that function within federal guidelines. There are more than 9 million people receiving benefits, and of those who enter the program, one in six women and one in five men die within five years.

Applying for disability insurance can be a daunting task and one that does not allow for many mistakes. An attorney whose focus is on Social Security Disability may be able to help you fill out an application correctly.

This is for educational purposes and should not be interpreted as legal advice.