Social Security Disability has been around since the advent of Social Security during the Roosevelt Administration in the 1940’s. During that time period and for many years prior, workers who were injured on the job received little or no compensation from their employers when injured on the job.
This resulted in many individuals who were injured or maimed on the job not being able to fulfill the duties of their job, and subsequently losing their job due to the injuries incurred. There were no strict laws on the book that required the employer to cover medical costs or pay the employee if he or she was injured due to poor working conditions.
Injuries were very prevalent during the industrial revolution, and as such, many families were left to starve when the breadwinner was unable to perform his trade anymore.
Establishment of Social Security Disability
Due to the influx of workers injured on the job with no recourse against their employer, the establishment of Social Security aimed at addressing this growing issue. Since the establishment of the law, anyone who is injured on the job is eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance (or SSDI for short). Income level does not play a factor in this benefit, and thus, any American injured on the job that is not due to personal negligence is eligible to apply for and receive this benefit.
The result of this law saw many families that otherwise would not be able to provide for themselves were given the means to maintain some sort of standard of living.
Filing a Claim
When the Social Security Disability Insurance Act was revised in 1985, about 2.2% of the US population was taking advantage of this nationwide insurance program. Fast forward to 2005 and that number nearly doubled to 4.1% or over 7.5 million US citizens that were currently utilizing the benefits of this social program.
The revamp of this program in 1985 made it substantially easier to obtain the government funded insurance benefits. As a result, more and more individuals are filing claims to receive this benefit. In order to file a claim, the individual must meet the following requirements:
- Must have a physical or mental condition that prevents the individual from engaging in any ‘substantial gainful activity’
- Condition is expected to last at least 12 months or result in death
- Individual is under the age of 65
The term ‘substantial gainful activity’ is what creates the incredible amount of fraud that surrounds this program. Currently, the program runs at over a $25 billion dollar annual deficit, and tens of billions of dollars are speculated to be part of fraud in the program. At the current rates that this program is running, we can expect the SSDI trust fund to be exhausted in just 2 years, or 2017.
Future of the Program
The future of this program currently hangs in the balance. Due to the incredibly lax rules surrounding this social program, millions of people are taking advantage of it and receiving checks on a monthly basis for injuries that simply do not exist.
In recent years, more and more people are filing claims based upon mental illness or ‘back pain’, which currently occupies nearly 30% of the claims being filed. This program is set to exhaust its own funds in less than 2 years, and unless a major overhaul of the program is carried out, we can expect the US government to continue to fund this bloated program with borrowed money from the Federal Reserve and other foreign entities.
This article was composed by Brian Levesque. Brian is currently studying civil law at Barry University in Orlando, FL. In his free time, Brian enjoys contributing content and artilces for Charles H. Leo, Attorney at Law. Brian expects to complete his degree within the next year and to become a workers compensation and SSDI attorney in the Central Florida area.