SSDI 60th

Social Security Disability Secures Today and Tomorrow

September 29, 2016 • By

Last Updated: September 29, 2016

ssdi60“I have never asked for help, but man did I need it now.” This is the case for many people living with disabling conditions that prevent them from working. At Social Security, we see and hear these stories every day.

We provide benefits to millions of people with disabilities and their families through the Social Security Disability Insurance program. This earned benefit program provides a vital lifeline for those who can no longer work because of an oftentimes unexpected critical illness. Disability can be unpredictable and can change anyone’s life at any time.

This year, our disability program turned 60 years old. There have been changes over the years, especially in medicine and technology, but one thing remains the same: our core philosophy of securing today and tomorrow for workers and their families.

In honor of the 60th anniversary of the program, we’ve featured blogs focusing on disability since the beginning of August, when the program officially turned 60. Acting Commissioner Colvin kicked off the blog series and Judy Chesser, Deputy Commissioner for Legislation and Congressional Affairs, detailed the legislative history of the disability program.  We will continue to feature blogs about the program over the next few months.

We invite you to visit our Faces and Facts of Disability page to learn more about our disability beneficiaries through personal stories and videos. You can also get links to our publications and statistics and learn disability facts.

Currently, we feature Jon’s story. Jon lives with a rare neurological disability called Complex Regional Pain Syndrome. A condition so severe, it doesn’t allow him to work, easily digest food, or even go for a leisurely stroll in the park. Jon expresses his gratitude for Social Security and describes what his life is like. Read Jon’s story, as well as many others, by visiting Faces and Facts of Disability.


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About the Author

Jim Borland, Assistant Deputy Commissioner, Communications

Jim Borland, Assistant Deputy Commissioner, Communications

Comments

  1. Just A Scam

    The system is a pile of garbage with red tape so they can say no to everybody except for friends and relatives and so that lawyers can earn their keep. My uncle 25 years ago had a quadruple bypass and needed a lawyer to have disability approved. I know know someone with a terribly severe autoimmune disease and was denied disability and had to hire a lawyer to be approved. Practically everybody working in the disability department needs to be fired, especially the person running it.

    • Pepper

      SSDI has very clear guidelines of what constitutes disability and many people do not understand this, but can have it better explained through a legal representative who MIGHT then be able to help them get the correct medical evaluations and documents for their claim, if it is a valid claim. It has nothing to do with friends or relatives and lawyers help people get on and to understand the process. Ranting does not help anyone. Denials and a long time frame are part of this process. It is unfortunate, but that does not make it a scam. It took me a year and a half to get approved and yes, I did turn to a lawyer and I also turned to educating myself so I could help my lawyer and also the SSDI decision makers rule in my favor. If you truly are disabled and eligible for benefits, you can allow the system to get you where you need to be and it will work.

      • edwin duban

        That is true, I apply in the Internet on Oct >Nov. 2012 and was seduced to see local office on Dec 2012. After interview I was approved for compassionate allowances that I did not know was existed and recieved it for full six months. Then July was stop making payment. Same month of July the SSA approved the SSDI the 180 days after you received the first check of benifits. But without telling if you are qualified for 5 months retroactive. All their explanation is 5 months waiting period as being legitimate disabled. Hmp, December 2012 when you applied for SSDI but only approved that you are disabled on July 15 2013And No payment for 5 months as waiting period..from Aug to December 2013 First benifit monthly check after the thirty days of January 2014… no retroactive….look like unfair that there is no back payment from July to December 2013.

        • Laurie

          I had the same issue. I was approved in July 2016 after applying in May 2016. I did all of my applications online. They neglected to tell me by mail, email or letter that I was eligible for $700 per month. I called them every month practically begging for help and not ONE of the representatives mentioned this benefit! I appealed, and they said my phone calls did not show any questions about assistance. I absolutely love being called a liar. I would certainly have looked forward to the homelessness and medical issues that followed. I would sincerely love to email someone that would actually listen to me. An attorney wouldn’t take it because it wasn’t enough money!

    • Jaylove

      How do they have time to reply but no real help or infor am sorry get to work

  2. T. Watson

    Mr. Sanchez,

    Please stop giving information. Your knowledge of the Social Security Disability program is not sufficient to give advice to other people. You are creating confusion and legwork for people in need of help. I have been a disability representative for over 10 years and your replies are maddening. Please stop.

    • Pepper

      I agree completely. Please stop giving advice when you obviously have a limited knowledge of how SSDI works.

  3. Manuel Sanchez

    MR. WIELAND
    IF YOU ARE A MILITARY SERVICE CONNECTED DISABLE VETERAN AND WORK FOR ANY LENGTH OF TIME AFTER MILITARY SERVICE THEN YOU MAY BE ELIGIBLE TO SOCIAL SECURITY.
    FOR REPRESENTATION CONTACT THE SOCIAL SECURITY & VETERANS DISABILITY UNIT. THIS IS A FREE DISABILITY HELP APPLICATIONS, APPEALS, AND HEARING BEFORE A JUDGE SERVICES.

    • Ronald L Wieland

      Thank you Mr Sanchez.

      • ata

        Ignore Sanchez, he’s a loose cannon. Evidently you do not meet the definition of meeting the “insured status” under the law. Any SS representative can explain that to you for free. Going to a third party will not change your work history in any way. SS representatives also make referrals to other agencies.

        • Manuel Sanchez

          So Sorry, didn’t know this was a third party situation only in hopes to be of some assistance.

  4. K Manzi

    My husband has been denied 2 times, he has a plethora of issues, one being narcolepsy. For the last determination, SSD didn’t review all of the medical records. They had 3 additional months of medical records never taken into consideration with dr diagnosis, and now, there are even more issues!

    He was terminated from his propane delivery tank driver last year. I am out of work and we have no income, no unemployment and 2 kids. IRA/401k exhausted, and now it’s becoming a crisis to pay the mortgage. We can’t wait any longer or we will lose everything. I was at my job for 18 years, and since 2013 had a couple of contract jobs but hopefully something will come up soon.

    In the meantime, are there programs to fast track this? We have been extremely diligent with medical records and submitting info on time, it’s disappointing the determination was not based on everything we submit.

    • Manuel Sanchez

      THE EMPLOYMENT DEVELOPMENT DEPARTMENT IS ONE OPTION.
      YOU SHOULD DO THE FOLLOWING REGISTER FOR WORK AT A LOCAL EDD FIELD OFFICE IN THE STATES AUTOMATED JOB SEARCH SYSTEM KNOWN AS CALJOBS; MANY WILL MINIMIZE ITS VALIDITY BUT IT IS ONLY A TOOL, IF YOU USE IT EFFECTIVELY IT WILL PRODUCE REULTS YOU WILL NEED TO FOLLOW-UP ON, THE APPLY FOR JOB THROUGH OTHER LOCAL WEB-SITE, THERE ARE NO FAST TRACK SOLUTIONS.
      THEN ASK FOR A CASE MANAGER FOR ASSISTANCE. ATTEND WORKSHOPS RECOMMENDED.
      NEXT IN YOUR HUSBANDS CASE THERE IS A FREE SERVICE FOR SOCIAL SECURITY & DISABILITY APPLICATIONS, APPEALS ASSISTANCE, AND HEARING BEFORE AN ADMINISTRATIVE LAW JUDGE.

    • DaveH

      Narcolepsy? Perhaps the problem is your husband fell asleep before he was able to fully complete his disability application.

      • Bernie

        Please do not make fun of something you do not understand. Unfortunately I do. Let’s play grown up, agreed?

    • Ray Fernandez, Public Affairs Specialist

      We are sorry to hear that your husband’s application for disability benefits did not go the way you both had hoped. If his claim is now going through the appeals process, we want to assure you that we are working as fast as we can to resolve all claims promptly, but there may be delays due to the volume of pending appeals in your area. In addition, individuals waiting for a disability determination from Social Security may be eligible to receive assistance from the state in which they live. You can get information about services in your area from your state or local social services, or visit the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) web page for more information. We hope this information helps.

      • Terry mummers

        How do you find out if you have enough credits what happens if you don’t

        • Ray Fernandez, Public Affairs Specialist

          Credits are the “building blocks” we use to find out whether an individual has the minimum amount of covered work to qualify for each type of Social Security benefits. You can create a my Social Security account to verify your earnings, get your Social Security Statement, and much more. We hope this information helps!

        • Moneyman

          You get no benefits.

  5. Ronald L Wieland

    I’m a disabled Veteran, 100%. Have been they say I don’t have enough credits, How could I,Im disabled. Don’t make sense to me. Troubled? Who can help me? Guess I’ll call my SENATOR.

    • ata

      File and live on your VA disability, thousands of veterans do.

    • Ray Fernandez, Public Affairs Specialist

      Thank you for your service to our country, Ronald. The number of work credits needed for disability benefits depends on your age when you become disabled. Generally, you need 40 credits, 20 of which were earned in the last 10 years ending with the year you become disabled. No benefits can be paid if you do not have enough credits. If you have specific questions about your situation, please call our toll free number, 1-800-772-1213. Representatives are available Monday through Friday, between 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. Thanks!

  6. Manuel Sanchez

    DONE

    • bettyg

      manuel,

      type in LOWER case please; it’s considered shouting for all caps and extremely hard to read.
      thanks.

      • george hart

        correct

      • Manuel Sanchez

        Sorry, makes for better reading while typing, loosing my vision due to macula degeneration.

        • Sherry Patten

          I know what you mean Manuel. Some people are just not happy unless they are giving others a hard time. I have told many if they had to walk a mile in my shoes for awhile maybe they would understand why I don’t feel well.

          • Terry Summers

            A little help please. I am 46. In December I was diagnosed with acute hypertension. I also have the bottom half of my left leg skin grafted due to a fire 6yrs ago. I worked on docks was supervised for bud Allan have least 7-8 or more yrs in. Now with my heart and blood pressure. My legs swell hard to walk also meds mess with me to. Some days all I can do is sleep. How do I go about filings for disability and receive it do I need a lawyer and who

          • Ray Fernandez, Public Affairs Specialist

            Thank you for using our blog Terry. The Social Security Act sets out a strict definition for disability. We pay disability benefits to people who are unable to work because of a medical condition that is expected to last one year or more or to end in death. However, if a person thinks that he or she meets our definition of disability, we encourage them to apply for disability benefits when they become disabled. You can apply online; you can contact your local office or call us at 1-800-772-1213 between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., Monday through Friday and ask one of our representatives to assist you. The choice to use a lawyer as a representative is your personal decision. We hope this information helps.

        • sandra s cliett

          I thought so, I like it with capital letters because I see it better…no problem..people fuss about something.

      • Susan in Glendale

        Bettyg,

        If he’s speaking too loudly for you, turn your audio down:) How ridiculous to tell this man he is SHOUTING. I FIND IT MUCH EASIER TO READ IN CAPS. MANY DISABLED PEOPLE DO.

  7. P Chandler

    SSDI is a necesarry lifeline for so many americans today. I know that, if given the choice, many many of us would love to be able to work, go back to work. Still, we are all so very grateful that SSDI exists, for if it did not, many of us would not. This is my reality. I earned my SSDI for 32 years and was no where near ready to stop working, when my disabilitiea said “you can’t work right now. You have limitations”. Well, although this is true today, I have not given up on the hope that I may and can go back to work, one day. There are still goals and dreams that I want to achieve. My continuing college education is one big dream and goal. I need to work, in order to afford continuing. I really hope I can work again, one day. At least I have much needed support, through My SSDI, today. Without it, I would have nothing. Thank You SSA!

    • Manuel Sanchez

      IF YOU ARE STILL DISABLED AT THIS TIME YOU ARE ADVISED TO REPORT TO A LOCAL DISABILITY BRANCH OFFICE CLOSEST TO YOUR PLACE OF RESIDENCE. BE SURE TO TAKE A COPY OF YOUR SOCIAL SECURITY CARD, PHOTO ID, AND MEDICAL EVIDENSE OF DISABILITY LIKE A DOCTORS NOTE WITH A DESCRIPTION OF THE DISABILITY , THE DIAGNOSIS, THE DSM CODE, AND THE SIGNATURE OF THE DOCTOR, MUST BE ON BUSINESS LETTER HEAD.THEN ASK TO SEE A DOR COUNSELOR, LET HIM KNOW THAT YOU NEED TO REGISTER FOR SERVICES, COMPLETE THE APPLICATION FORM, THEN ONCE AT INTERVIEW BE SURE TO LET THE COUNSELOR KNOW YOUR PROBLEM, LET HIM KNOW THAT YOU ARE WILLING TO GO BACK TO WORK IN A COMPETITIVE FIELD, AND THAT YOU WILL NEED TO APPLY FOR EDUCATIONAL BENEFITS THROUGH D.O.R. THEN FOLLOW THEIR ADVICE.

      • Judy Zwyghuizen

        But then what happen’s do they cut your Benifit’s??? I’m unable to work with copd and Degenertive joint Disease and Rheumatoid Sever Arthritis, I cannot even stand for more than 15 minute’s at a time Now I get Vertigo dizzy spell’s and had joint replacement due to my disabilitie’s also then you take a big cut in depended pay???

    • Ray Fernandez, Public Affairs Specialist

      Thanks for your comment and thank you for sharing! Social Security strongly supports those individuals who want to return to the work force while supplementing their disability benefit income. We have Work Incentives such as the Ticket to Work program, which offers beneficiaries with disabilities access to meaningful employment, allowing you to work and still receive benefits. We are glad we can help!

      • Reginalda Saint-Johannson

        I tried working with a TICKET TO WORK program, BIG MISTAKE! I ended up being penalized for it and now have to repay every dime of the money I earned back to SSA. How heartrending can this get!?

  8. Candra Peterson

    With not been being able to work for many conditions, Social Security has been there for me thick and thin.

    • Ray Fernandez, Public Affairs Specialist

      We appreciate your thoughts. Thanks for your comment!

      • Terry mummers

        After being in prison 7yrs then in and out now on probation how do I find a lawyer to get me out on disability? Acute Hypertension has my legs 3 times bigger. The meds I take make me I’ll. Just can’t do it anymore. Need help suggestions

    • Nadine Marie Rody

      Isn’t Candra Peterson a dhs worker in Philadelphia PA? If so she was really mean towards me back in 1994 when I had 2 baby twin girls as I was a first time parent? For the record I didn’t like her@ all.

  9. Patricia Poole

    It’s a hard process to navigate. My sister is mentally ill and has been denied based on the idea that she could physically do manual labor. Problem is that mentally she can’t hold a job. She’s been terminated twice in the last six months. She’s been denied disability and we had to petition for a hearing. It takes 18 months to get a hearing. So in the meantime I have to support her emotionally and financially.

    • Manuel Sanchez

      YOUR SISTER SHOULD FILE FOR DISABILITY INSURANCE (DI) BENEFITS.
      SHE WILL NEED TO GET A MEDICAL EVALUATION AT THE MENTAL HEALTH FACILITY. SHE WILL NEED TO AKS FOR A MENTAL HEALTH COUNSELOR FOR A REFRRAL TO A STAFF PSYCHIATRIST. THE PSYCHIATRIST WILL DO AN EVALUATION AND IF HE FINDS HER ELIGIBLE ASK FOR A MEDICAL STATEMENT FROM THE DOCTOR WITH A DESCRIPTION OF THE MEDICAL PROBLEM, A DIAGNOSIS, A DIAGNOSTIC CODE #, AND THE PHYSICIANS SIGNATURE ON COUNTY MENTAL HEALTH LETTER HEAD FORM. ONCE YOU HAVE THAT GO TO A LOCAL EDD FIELD OFFICE CLOSEST TO YOUR HOME AND ASK FOR A FORM # 2501 TO FILE FOR DISABILITY AGAIN.

      • ata

        What horrible advice. Quit yelling. A hearing has been filed. You can’t have 2 active claims going on at the same time.

        • Manuel Sanchez

          CORRECT; ALL YOU CAN DO IS WAIT IT OUT.

          • Judy Zwyghuizen

            I had to wait for 1 1/2 Year’s with no Income before I got mine and I had a Lawyer they take Quite a chunck off the top if they win your case for you and I only recieve $1,000 a month with house payment and all utitities and Insurance’s forget getting any grocery’s I can starve and they don’t care

        • Susan in Glendale

          Get a life, Ata. What kind of moron are you to read this man’s comment and assume he is yelling? If he’s speaking too loudly for you, turn your audio down….ha ha. What a know-it-all you are.

          • Jamey

            Agreed!

          • Judy Zwyghuizen

            True I don’t have any volume on this she is crazy! LOL

          • Sandra Hester

            Judy Z. It took approximately 2-3 yrs for mine to go through with an attorney. Which didn’t take that much for all they do.
            I was getting 717. After 2 yrs Medicare becomes primary. Now after part b comes out of it, …try living on 595 mo. I qualify for QMB for it to be paid for however am still waiting for local end of Medicaid to make it happen.

      • Nadine Marie Rody

        Judy Zwyghuizen,You should be thankful you get that as income. You sound very ungrateful & dont deserve this income help!!! I struggle being on a limit income but I’m very grateful I get the help I need from the government as I never like when a lot of people bash the government when the government helps people not hurt them!!!! I am very thankful for social security disability insurance helping me,as I have a severe disability that keeps me from working.

  10. Kevin Butler

    Got a call yesterday evening while driving down the road, went into a hole lost contact tried to call back, was told I was not eligible for benefits and still can’t figure out how they come up with that prognosis would like to get a call back. I have COPD and both knees replaced!

    • Barbara Comerford

      You need to speak to a lawyer specializing in SSD cases. Most provide free consultations. It is often difficult to get to speak to someone at SSA. I have done this work for over 30 years and would be happy to provide a free initial consultation. But you can also call NOSSCR which has the names of attorneys throughout the US who do this work. Good luck!

    • Ray Fernandez, Public Affairs Specialist

      Hi Kevin! Generally, claimants receive an official denial letter from Social Security if their claim was denied, which will also provide appeals rights. We recommend that you call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213 and request information on the status of your claim. Representatives are available Monday to Friday, between 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. You will experience shorter waiting time if you call later in the week. We hope this helps!

      • Shirley Bossak

        As I read all this about getting disability payments I’m digusted at how,in the budget deal of 2015,money was ripped off from what was file and suspend to continue to fund a broke system where fraud is rampant. As an LA Times article said elderly divorced women would be the victims of this injustice.

        • Melissa Holmes

          Call Morgan*morgan you can get there number off the TV commercials. They helped me and after the case was taken it took almost a year and I had it.

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