Millions of Americans suffer from disabling conditions that prevent them from being able to work. These individuals often suffer from severe financial setbacks due to these medical conditions. Fortunately, Social Security Disability benefits can help alleviate some of the financial stress caused by a severe, long-term disability. The Social Security Administration offers two programs to help disabled individuals who are unable to work due to a disabling medical condition.
What Types of Disability Benefits and Programs Exist to Help Disabled Individuals?
If you are suffering from a long-term or permanent disability, you may qualify for Social Security’s SSDI (Social Security Disability Insurance) program. The disability benefits received under this program can help you cover basic living expenses and alleviate the financial burden caused by your condition(s).
If you are experiencing severe financial hardship due to a disabling condition that prevents you from working, you could also consider applying for Social Security's Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program. The SSI program offered by the Social Security Administration is more of a need-based program for individuals who have more serious financial problems.
Over 8 million disabled individuals received Social Security Disability benefits this year, and this number shows no signs of slowing down. Although the Social Security Administration often comes under scrutiny regarding how it is funded and its ability to maintain benefit programs in the future, more people are applying and being awarded disability benefits than ever.
How Are SSI and SSDI Disability Benefits Funded?
Millions of disabled Americans receive disability benefits each month, but where does this money come from? Social Security is funded through a tax on employers, employees, and self-insured individuals. Everyone who works in the United States pays into Social Security, and a portion of these funds are allocated to Social Security’s disability benefit programs, namely, Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
The entire Social Security program is funded through a 12.4% payroll tax. Employees are taxed 6.2% of their income, and employers match the employee taxes by paying the other 6.2%. Individuals who are self-employed are responsible for paying the entire 12.4% themselves. The taxes are often referred to as “FICA taxes,” as they are collected under the authority of the Federal Insurance Contributions Act. These taxes are placed into a trust fund which accrues interest over time. The person in charge of managing the trust fund, or the “managing trustee,” is the Secretary of the Treasury. The funds in the account can be allocated into marketable or non-marketable securities as allowed by FICA.
To find out whether you qualify for disability benefits, you can complete our Free Evaluation form to be contacted by a Social Security attorney or advocate. The disability application process can be difficult to navigate without the help of someone who is an expert in filling out the appropriate paperwork and representing disabled individuals in court. In almost every case, these professionals do not charge a fee unless you win your case.