The Disability Insurance Program – Securing Today and Tomorrow for 60 Years

judychesserblogpicSocial Security provides financial benefits, services, and information to help support you throughout life’s journey. On August 1, we celebrated the 60th anniversary of the beginning of the Social Security disability insurance program.

Enacted as a part of the Social Security Amendments of 1956, the disability program is an essential lifeline for many workers and their families. People earn this benefit by working and contributing to the Social Security fund. It reinforces a deeply rooted American value – providing financial protection for those who can no longer do substantial work.

Lawmakers considered establishing the disability program as early as 1935, when Congress passed the original Social Security Act. However, policymakers could not reach consensus on how to effectively administer and fund it. Nearly twenty years later, in 1954, Congress established Social Security’s first disability program. It provided a “disability freeze” for disabled workers, which protected a worker’s retirement benefits by not penalizing workers who could not contribute to the Social Security program during periods of disability.

Some lawmakers were concerned about potential program costs, the difficulty of deciding disability claims, and the availability of other assistance. In that contentious climate, it took tough negotiations to create our modern disability program. On August 1, 1956, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the program into law.

The Social Security Act sets out a strict definition of disability. We pay benefits to people with a severe medical condition that prevents them from performing substantial work and is expected to last at least one year or result in death. Social Security does not pay benefits for partial disability or short-term disability. Social Security disability beneficiaries are among the most severely impaired in the country and are more than three times as likely to die in a given year as other people the same age.

Today, the Social Security Disability Insurance program provides a financial safety net for millions of Americans. You can visit our Faces and Facts of Disability website to read stories about people currently living with disability. With retirement, disability, and survivors benefits, Social Security is here to help you secure today and tomorrow.

About Judy Chesser, Deputy Commissioner, Legislation and Congressional Affairs


154 thoughts on “The Disability Insurance Program – Securing Today and Tomorrow for 60 Years


    • Taxation depends on income. If Judy Chesser is recused from the Social Security Amendments of January 1, 2016 email list for bribery, graft and conflict of interest regarding Congressional propaganda for depriving the people of their subsistence does she contribute the modest disability death rate of about 6 per 1,000 to OSHA career death rate statistics? I regret that due to her Congressional abuse of the words “severely disability” Judy Chesser must be recused from her position as my liaison to the “legislature” that is corrupted by disability determination by licensed psychologists who ask only to be abolished under the Paperwork Reduction Act, in furtherance of their mutual tax evasion In her exuberance to report disability beneficiary death rates to the murderess HHS she has failed her professional responsibility to abolish disability determination under the Paperwork Reduction act. Judy Chesser works for OSHA, she may not be arbitrarily arrested, detained or exiled. I don’t feel fine. Judy Chesser is one of the most skilled staticians in SSA but is somewhat wanting in the right of all peoples to self-determination department to teach Congress to uphold Common Article 1 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights of 23 March 1976 and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights of 3 January 1976 provide (1) All peoples have the right of self-determination. By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development. (2) All peoples may, for their own ends, freely dispose of their natural wealth and resources without prejudice to any obligations arising out of international economic co-operation, based upon the principle of mutual benefit, and international law. In no case may a people be deprived of its own means of subsistence.

    • when people have carpal tunnel the companies go out there and they try to match this they act like it’s only like 4% of the total body I have permanent partially disabled by my doctor the state determined disabled without an attorney and my job could not accommodate me and I could not get no one to stand behind me to help me out so somebody needs to make sure that this is not done to anyone else



      • SSA has cleaned up their Administration finally! This is not free money. If someone has worked, & is fully paid into the system, they qualify. But, this new Administration is locking down & sending people to prison. You have people who applied, & went back to their country, & those who are still working being caught & sent to prison. I’m glad that they’re (SSA) is doing what’s right by firing those who’s corruption will destroy something that’s worked for more than 80 years. People who have to ask if they could possibly receive benefits apparently has not worked, are not fully paid into the system, & truly believes that Free Money is given by SSA, which is not TRUE! SSA is now doing their jobs, finally. Sending claimants back to their doctors, verifying if disability still exists…go to investigations

        • I fully Agree with you I started working at the age of 15 in a hospital were someone gave me a fair change and work others jobs until I turn 50years and became disabled and couldn’t work anymore and all I get is $ 183.00 for SSI and $572.00 for SSA it hard try to live with so little money ..

    • Absolutely applyfor it. IF you are approved the SSA would decide which procedure is considered the primary reason. Then, if you can prove (usually by way of your doctors certification as to your date of disability AND what is the exact prognosis), you are well on your way. SSA will probably have you go to one of their doctors to confirm your doctors findings. The great newsis that you will get paid from a period of 6 months after the certification by your doctor through now. Payments made are divided at least every 6 to 8 months apart because any other way Uncle Sam would be paying you a visit and yes SSD IS 50% taxable once you hit the the trigger for your tax rate.

  2. This is not about disability, but regular social security benefits. I want to know why when my husband worked in the private sector for 20 to 23 years and paid into social security, then got a job at the schools, and since he now has a state pension, he only receives a small portion of his benefits he paid in all of those years. You tell me what is the difference in my husband doing his job and having a pension and a person working for UPS with a pension, he gets to collect all of his social security and his pension, but because my husband has a state pension he doesn’t. I think something is wrong with this.

    • He may have been given a choice at the time as to whether he wanted to pay into a pension or pay into SS. What did he choose? You don’t pay into both.

      • He had a regular job for 20 to 23 years and they take out social security, when you go to the schools, they do not withhold social security and they have a pension, and what is the difference between their pension and anyone else’s pension. Believe me its not that much and why can’t he collect all of his social security he paid in? Not fair. A school employee does not have a choice of what they withhold.

    • Because SS payouts are weighted toward replacing a higher % of a low income worker’s income. If a substantial part of your work history is in non taxed government employment the earnings record would appear like a persons who had little or no work for 20 years. In order to correct this Congress passed a Government pension offset law. If you paid a substantial amount into SS for 30 years you’d be exempt. Call 800-772-1213 and ask for a pamphlet about this.

      • We do know about it, but still he paid in all of those years and now he cannot collect. Are you going to do the same with the people in the private sector that has pensions at their jobs, like I used UPS as an example, a guy we know works their and he was throwing around how he wants Clinton in so he can collect all of his pension and social security. No difference!

        • The difference is for the state job, he didn’t pay into SSA for those years, so when he does receive a pension from work (that is NOT a job that he paid into SSA at the same time) there IS an offset.

          In your circumstance, let’s take UPS for example. A person pays into SSA all of those years they are working for UPS AND they get a pension from UPS there will be NO offset.

          Here is the policy explaining what you need to know

          Your husband falls under the WEP or Windfall Elimination Provision.

          If he paid into SSA for those years he worked for the state there would be NO offset but because he didn’t, wouldn’t or couldn’t pay into SSA there IS an offset.

          These are the rules and if you don’t like them or don’t agree with them, it would take an act of Congress to change them….

          Feel free to contact your Congressman….

  3. To. Whom it may concern. I thank God for allowing the President to sign the bill because I’m a Disability client and God knows without my resources I would be without anything. I pray soon that it will be a be specifically and for the Disability for Housing I’m in need of housing do the President Obama help me cause I’m in a situation where though my acting Landlord is putting me out in October I don’t have no where to go can I be helped please, thanks

      • I just said a pray for you🙏🏻 you should google housing assistance for the disabled and there will be several links that will give you a lot of info. You can also call your local social security office that handled or handles you Disabilty case and they can give you info. On getting help with housing.
        I Pray That You Will Find The Help You Need🙏🏻 GOD BLESS YOU WITH LOVE AND LIGHT🙏🏻

        • I’ve been on public housing list for 8 yrs. now! I’ve watched my age go from age 52, when I started waiting in public housing list & now in one mo. I’ll be 60 yrs.old.I guess they don’t think being disabled & 60 yrs.old isn’t Important for me after waiting 8 yrs. to get an being important? When I first divorced I was disabled & had 3 of my 4kids living with me,I also had parents to live with & help me.Now I’m alone a lot older more disabled & I can only guess how long I’m going to wait longer for an apt.if I ever get one.I feel I should be put up with the single moms who are on section 8. My no. On plain public housing has gone from 14 down to 10 THE to 8 & back to a 10 with no explaination? I’m just getting older & in worst shape.What are they waiting for me to die? Is that why my number has gone up to 10 in 2Mo.?? I can’t take much more!! With my number going away from getting an apt.DEPRESSION IS WORST & ASK WHY ?

      • I too sm disabled! I get very little in SSDI payments! I have only so much I can take out from an injury fund! There is no housing left, and there seems to be one line to get in, and its not always by need! I never thought I may one day be homeless!



  4. I have SSD because I’ve had MS for 18 years. The result is now cognitive impairment, chronic nerve pain, gait imbalance, major depression, anxiety, painful spasms. I used to be a chef.

    • a·dor·a·ble



      adjective: adorable

      inspiring great affection; delightful; charming.
      “she looked just adorable”

      If you meant “affordable” wheelchair accessible housing, how and in what way do you think that applies to The Social Security Administration?

      I don’t understand the correlation at all and don’t get where you would even consider that this has ANYTHING to do with SSA?

      Please explain, thank you.

  5. Sirs,
    Consider the monetary Federal Reserves strong.
    Exhibit more leniency in the past employment requirements with easier access to Vocational Rehabilitation.
    Be expecting unskilled Laber part-time, to be “partial disabilities”.
    My money is good.
    Thank You,

  6. I’m disabled and been on SS for a while now if it wasn’t here . id either be dead or in a home someplace getting poor care for the poor. I’m not lieing it has saved my life .
    my only complaint now is I have Sleep Apnea and told i have ton return the cpad machie because I didn’t meet compliance which is fine but thought the whole ordeal i felt like they didn’t care .I was charged for some thing i never got and received some supply’s that didn’t work on my machine the filter and tubing are not one size fits all it looks like .I’m sending it back as soon as i get the post age to that’s the other annoying thing and adds insult to injury i pay shipping back to them , they won’t let me drop it off any place in my state or let any one come pick it up sigh ….they won’t look into some charges saying i did receive some supply’s when i didn’t we all know who’s gonna end up paying that . I can go on but won’t .

    • Get in touch with SS and or Medicare. There is no way they can charge you for this as long as the doctor authorized the machine.

    • if you mean me they can i pay 20 % medicare pays 80 the problem and to be honest id rather return the machine then go though it all again and go cold turkey and get out more, i have other health issue but are mild compared to some i have meet i can still walk ,I have bad arthritis in my back i can only stand for 15 to 20 mins at a time .I consider my self very lucky to have what i have, i worked most of life so it’s not like i didn’t work for it, i did, i worked 7 days a week at one point not because i had to i wanted to, i liked working. and yes my DR said i didn’t want it i some how knew it would end this way . well any way that’s really my only major complaint how even the durable medical supply company’s get a way with a lot right now. i wish they would lower it to 10 /90 i all most paid off a operation i had last year to help me breath better .well like i said i need to shut up i see to much wrong with the system some times i can’t shut up .


  7. I am 64 years old I will be 65 in February do I contact Social Security or Medicare or do they contact me and also when I become 65 do I then get full benefits because I get SSI now

    • No one will contact you. You have to apply for SS. Make an appointment. You’ll need your birth certificate and other ID…marriage certificate, etc. Good luck

      • I get SS I now I I claimed early retirement I’m just concerned about Medicare and whether or not I will get full benefits at 65 because I work part time

        • Hi Odaria, if a person begins to receive benefits at age 62 or prior to their full retirement age, their benefits are permanently reduced. However, each year, we review the records for all working Social Security recipients to see if additional earnings may increase monthly benefits. If your earnings for the prior year are higher than any of the years that were used to compute your retirement benefit, we will recalculate your benefit amount. If an increase is due, a new monthly benefit amount is established on your record automatically. Finally, if you are already getting Social Security retirement benefits, you will be enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B automatically. Click here for more Medicare information.


    • An SSI Claims Representative receives a diary list each month so as to contact SSI recipients to get claims for SS retirement or Medicare at 65. You should be contacted at 65 at least. You are probably not insured for retirement or you would have been contacted at age 62. Should you receive SS retirement it will offset your SSI by !00% except for 20 dollars each month.

  8. I was receiving SS Disabled payments until I turned 65. At 65 SS changed me over to regular SS, but I am still disabled with a failed back fusion. Why the change?

        • SSI is different than SSD. They should call Social Security to find out if they are eligible for other programs.
          As for Medicare, they will automatically send a Medicare A & B card with a postcard to allow the cancellation of Part B. Don’t recommend cancelling Part B! If you feel you can’t afford it, contact your state’s human services agency.

    • If you are receiving Social Security Disability Insurance benefits (SSDI), nothing will change when you reach full retirement age except for Social Security purposes your benefits will be called retirement benefits instead of disability benefits.

      The SSDI benefit that is paid is the maximum amount payable to the worker under his or her earnings record. It is higher than the benefit payment that would be paid for reduced retirement benefits. Therefore, if you are receiving SSDI, your benefit amount will not change when you reach full retirement age.

      Starting with the month you reach full retirement age, you will get your benefits with no limit on your earnings.

      Information about full retirement age may be found on our Web site at the following Internet address:

  9. I am a 59 year old Retired USAF MSgt who (as of 28 May 15) has been rated not only 100% Service Connected, Totally and Permanently Disabled after my 10th Heart Procedure in 14 years (as of March 28, 2015) left me with Left Ventricle Dysfunction and the Coronary Artery Disease that has caused the need for eight (8) Stents and a By-Pass, but also Special Monthly Compensation for greater than 60% additional Service Connected Disability and meeting House-Bound Criteria.

    Those Disabilities are eventually Terminal Illnesses the VA counts as “Service Connected” don’t include being diagnosed and treated (23 medications, injections, and inhalations, with an average between 4-6 Dr’s Appointments, Labs, and Out Patient Surgeries per month) for stage 2 COPD (which given my Heart Condition, leads to Congestive Heart Failure), Type 2 Diabetes, Insomnia, Sleep Apnea (eight (8) years to date on a Bi-Pap), Narcolepsy, Hypertension, High Blood Pressure, Developing Cataracts in my eyes and other Diseases caused by the Diabetes (all of which aren’t considered VA Service Connected).

    Please don’t misunderstand, I am extremely thankful for SSA Disability Insurance; However, I received phone call from SSA stating that “I was expected to get better and they would do a re-evaluation in 18 months”. I think this is very cruel as four (4) of my conditions are extremely aggressive, incurable, and eventually end Terminally by themselves, let alone acting together!

    They leave me with little strength, no quality of life, little hope, a realization that all of my Wife’s and my retirement plans will never be realized together, as well as worsening Depression and in a slow Mental and Physical Decline. Please tell me how, when I have my Cardiologists of 15 years writing a letter ordering me not to ever work again, the Veteran’s Administration rating me 100% Totally and Permanently Disabled for my Heart alone (stating “This issue will not be re-visited”) and issuing Special Disability Compensation and House-Bound Status; with all of my Specialists stating all they can do is maintain and slow the progression of four (4) TERMINAL Conditions (which will only get worse, not better) you can look into Your crystal Ball and say I’m going to get better!

    My wife’s employer has even moved her to a work from home position to be closer to me. I fall with a cane on wet surfaces (knocking myself out for 2 hours at one point, can’t even shower without her here), walk distances with a prescribed Walker, my Narcolepsy causes me to fall asleep while cooking and keeps me from anything but local driving (mostly to appointments) and I’m not supposed to lift more than 10 pounds requiring me to sell my HD Heritage Softail Classic EFI (at a monetary loss not to mention my freedom it provided), I even have “Handicapped/Disabled Veteran” State Issued Plates on my vehicles with no expiration dates.

    I know there are other people out there like me, that with a little due diligence, could be spared from being told such cruel things. You provide so many programs that help those in need. I don’t need to be told falsehoods and presented with the worry that somehow SSA is going to cut me off at 60 when everyone else forbids me from working and you would force me to wait 6 years and 7 months before your organization picks me back up!


      • He already gets Social Security and is worried about a medical review. I lot could be done to ease the tension felt by others if it weren’t for people giving giving out bad advice and the advice that you give is rarely correct.

    • Hi Scott. We understand that a medical review can be stressful. We conduct medical reviews from time to time to make sure you are still disabled, and we only evaluate factors that permanently affect your ability to work. Also, we obtain and consider medical evidence from your doctors or other medical sources, if needed. For other factors that we consider in reviewing your disability status, please read our publication, “What You Need to Know: Reviewing Your Disability”. We hope this helps.

      • Hi I hope somebody xmcan help me. I became disabled back in 98. I am receiving SSD and just recently they cut me off because they thought I was doing substantial gainful work. It turns out that they missed a letter from my boss stating that I was working less hours and couldn’t lift more than 10lbs. So I get a letter stating that I still qualify for disability but I’m about to lose my home where I paid my rent on time until they screwed up and n oh well I’m still waiting for my check. It’s been since June, they sent me a partial check but when do I get my monthly check. They still owe me some back pay but I haven’t heard anything and when I go to the local office they don’t know anything. So what’s the deal? And now I just found out that I’m going to lose my eyesight because of some disease. So I won’t be able to work. The only reason I work against Dr.s orders is because what I recieve in disability isn’t enough to cover my bills I don’t know if I qualify for SSI and when I ask at the local office they ignore me. So how do I get answers about my check? And now that I have another disability how and what do I need to show SSD? I HAVEN’T RECEIVED A CHECK FOR JULY OR AUGUST. I can’t pay my rent next month and I have late fees on top of that Somebody please help me !!!!!!

        • Unfortunately, but for your security, we do not have access to your personal information in this venue. Please continue working with your local field office, or call our toll free number, 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) and ask to speak with one of our representatives, who are available Monday through Friday between 7:00am and 7:00pm. Thanks!

    • I would be stressed as well and feel the same as you do, but even if they do a medical review in 18 months, if your conditions have not substantially improved so that you could return to work at the SGA level than your benefits will continue. From what you describe, The odds of that happening are slim to
      none and if for some bizzare reason they do say that you are no longer disabled, you can appeal and request that your benefits continue while their review is pending ( just be sure to request continuance of benefits within 10 days and an additional 5 days for mailing {15 days} from the date on the notice). They may not even start a review, and their is a good chance that they will not. I once was mailed a review, completed the forms and then recieved a notice stating that they do not need to do a review at this time.


  11. Social Security is required by law to review disability cases periodically. Your review is routine so don’t take it personal. Given your medical history there is no chance that you will be taken off of disability, so don’t worry. The nation is grateful for your service.

  12. Is the amount of benefits (specifically SSDI) accurate. I received a letter in the mail several days ago from the appeals judge stating that I am fully disabled.
    How long does it typically take to receive a letter from my local office telling me the amount?

    • Hi Kathy, unfortunately and because of security reasons we do not have access to personal records in this blog and cannot answer your question at this time. One of our representatives should be able to provide you with an explanation and answer your questions about this matter. Please call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213 Monday to Friday between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. or contact your local Social Security office directly. Thanks.

  13. My wife was approved for disability but the letter stated that a years worth of payments were being withheld. Why and when will it be paid??

    • When someone is approved for Social Security disability benefits, we establish their monthly benefit amount first and then we work on paying any retroactive benefits due. We must consider other factors, such as the application date, the established date of disability and the five-month waiting period (benefits are not payable for the first full five month of disability), to make a final retroactive payment. We attempt to resolve all claims promptly, but there may be delays due to the high volume of pending cases in our payment centers. Please continue working with your local office in this matter. For specific questions about her situation, your wife can call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213. Our representatives are available Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Thanks.

  14. We were all young and we had a chance to work, and prepare for our future. Some people just don’t do it and when they become old or elderly it’s much too late. Most have not been disabled all of their life, so they had a chance to save some money, but failed to do so and now we hear their complaints.

  15. I have an attorney for about a year and a half trying to get my disability. Does anyone know why it takes so long. I have 3 disability health issues. Thanks for your help!

    • The length of time it takes to receive a decision on your disability claim can vary depending on several factors, such as the nature of your disability and how quickly we obtain medical evidence from your doctors or other medical sources. Please continue working with your attorney and the local Social Security office on specific questions about your case. For more information, visit “Social Security Disability Claims Process”. Thanks!

  16. I get disability and it took 9 years going thru crap for work comp they tried to find a doctor to get me back to work and found nothing. I have worked 2 jobs most of my life mostly under the table, but I still worked and I only get $800 a mth, this is way below poverty level. Iam greatfull for that I had nothing before. I am sure there of us that live this way. I feel it should be a system fair for ALL the people. Someone needs to help the VETS and the HOMELESS. I gave given bags of box food smokes, toys etc. Make this a fair system all the way around.

  17. My wife was out of the work force for over 20 years. Went back to work and worked for almost a year was injured at work and diagnosed with a disabling injury. Cannot work, we are told that she has not put in enough years for disability insurance. She worked for more than 10 years prior to break in work. Does anyone know if she is eligible for disability benefits? If not then please explain. Thank you for your assistance.

    • Thank you for your question. When it comes to qualifying for disability benefits under the Social Security Disability Insurance program, you must be “currently insured” or have worked long enough–and recently enough—under Social Security. Credits are the “building blocks” we use to find out whether you have the minimum amount of covered work to qualify for each type of Social Security benefits.Your wife can create a my Social Security account to review her earnings record; and see how many credits she has accumulated. See Insured Status Requirements for more information.

      • Mr Fernandez, can you tell me why SS withheld one year of payments on my wife’s disability and when it will be paid?? I asked the question last night on an entry above but have not received an answer yet. Thank you sir!!

    • $1,130 is the limit.

      To find out all of the information see this PDF document

      If you’re unable to open that document call 1-800-772-1213, the SSA national 1 800 number and request them to mail you the “Working While Disabled-—How We Can Help” pamphlet.

      It fully explains everything that you are looking for, you’re welcome in advance.

  18. I am on SSDI and 63 years old. I was born 1953. My understanding is that if I remain elegable for SSDI until 66 my SSDI automatically stops and Social security takes over. My wife and I are the same age (one month apart). If I want to use a restricted application to wait until 70 can I do that? Can you go from SSDI to a restricted application and choose to get my spousal social security and wait until 70 to get my social security?

    • Hi Louis. Unfortunately, your question is a bit more complex than we can handle in this forum. In your situation, we suggest that you contact your local Social Security office directly. If unable to visit the local office, please call our toll-free number at 1-800-772-1213. Representatives are available Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Thanks!

  19. Why can’t social security be transfered to and that would help with the problems of social security and would help the government deal with the problems its facing.

  20. To all those severely disabled prayers go out to you.
    But the SSDI system is filled with fraud…How come there are so many ambulance chasers advertising that they will obtain SSDI for individuals.? Because they get paid to do so..there are millions ripping off the system.
    Explain the tremendous increase in people qualifying..
    Fraud like every other govt entitlement..

  21. Ray,
    Your answer is being our look. I am a retired 20 disabled Veteran and recieve Social security. I did realize that I had to pay taxes until the Social security inform me that I had to pay taxes on my social security. Because they combine my spouse income. I was well over to get tax exempt. Not everyone situation is going to the same, so to go on everyone’s word it’s best to call or review the website Ray put on this blog.

  22. I requested a copy of my file several months ago and when I called to check the status as to when it will be sent I was told that there is no set date or time period. I also try to verify that they have receipt of certain documents and they can not give me an answer other than stating that it is a paper file and they do not have access to it. I do not understand why there isn’t someone who I can talk to that can answer my questions.

    • We apologize for the delay and inconveniences you are experiencing, Sheila. Unfortunately, but for your security, we do not have access to personal records in this blog. Please continue working with your local office. You should be allowed to speak with the manager to see how we can help to expedite resolution of your situation. If you are unable to visit the local office, you can call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778. Representatives are available Monday through Friday between 7:00a.m. and 7:00p.m. Generally, you will have a shorter wait time if you call later in the week. Thanks.

      • Ok thank you, but I have spoken with my local FO manager and he has stated that the AC is a ” completely separate entity” and to contact them directly. I have spoken with staff at the AC congressional branch and I still do not know when I can expect to receive a copy of my file ( to be sure that it is complete), or when the hearing audio recordings and transcript that have been requested will be sent. I understand that you are unable to address personal information in this blog, and that is actually a good thing, but what scares me the most is that statistics on line seem to suggest that 89 % of the time requests for reviews are denied and I have already recieved that standard letter once before. It’s challenging to address such important legal matters with out an attorney and my case is such that I am extremely unlikely to be able to obtain one. I actually think that my case is stronger than most attorneys seem to think, but it’s a risk that they understandably are not willing to take. My local FO has been one of the biggest obstacles that I’ve had to face and that has not changed. I recently requested that a deemed filing date for the SSI application that was approved in 2003 to be backdated to 1999 when I submitted an SSI application for my son,due to misinformation that had been provided. I was immediately denied ( which is good in that they have previously delayed responses for over 8 months) but this should have been an initial determination with appeal rights, and once again no appeal rights had been given in the notice. The letter did not state that I did not meet one or more of the conditions; It just stated that it would not be addressed and was forwarded to the AC. It would be great if Social Security had an email address where claimants and recipients could correspond with staff to address specific concerns about a case.

        • I just want to futher say that hopefully the majority of FO do not operate in the same manner as the One in Saco, Maine. The entire staff, including management need training in due process. This office has perpetually, intentionally, and maliciously mislead me pertaining to eligibility for benefits, proper procedures for me to follow to request reopening or to file appeals, has denied to take applications that I had the right to submit, has archived a current appeal, denied me the right to request a hearing and after finally being permitted to request a hearing they with held it in their office for over 1 month. In region one, the FO should sent a request for a hearing to ODAR with in 5 days. They have also refused to accept pay stubs to prove that I had not engaged in twp months, after much persistence only copied some of them and stated that it would be a waste of time to copy all of them. I then got a notice stating they needed all of my pay stubs so I went back into the office and they copied the rest of them. After they were still insisting that I had used 1 twp month and after a lengthy discussion they insisted that I was incorrect.
          so I wrote a
          letter to appeal and there after it was corrected. They also stated that after using the four twp that I had not actually used that a review was scheduled be use it would be the end of my twp. That by its self is blatantly wrong. They also tried telling me that my earnings are counted for when i was paid and not for when I worked. That is obviously false information too. They also with held evidence that I had submitted for my hearing, submitted a disability report that I had completed in 2002, stating that it was current and excluded a separate letter that I had written to supplement the report prior to my first hearing in 2003. They also failed to give me a deemed filing date based on misinformation for when I had inquired about applying for benefits in 2004 and they would not allow me to submit an application. I had submitted a written request to use the earlier date and submitted a report of contact form; both were entered as exhibits, but no deemed filing date had been given. I could go on but the general idea is that this FO is highly corrupt in my opinion and at minimum they need training on proper procedures to follow and training in due process.

          • That’s terrible that you were treated that poorly!

            I would write to your congressman and detail everything that you stated above, then add all of the other information….

            I hope you do realize that you’re able to go to ANY other FO in your area.

            It looks like there is an office in Portland Maine that wouldn’t be a ridiculous drive for you.

            It’s located at: SOCIAL SECURITY
            SUITE 150
            550 FOREST AVE
            PORTLAND, ME 04101-1505

            I do understand that it is a hassle for you but if there is another FO that is closer to your location, you’re able to go there!

            I would also write to your congressman!

  23. Thanks for sharing excellent informations. Your web site is so cool. I’m impressed by the details that you’ve on this web site. It reveals how nicely you perceive this subject. Bookmarked this website page, will come back for extra articles. You, my friend, ROCK! I found just the info I already searched all over the place and simply could not come across. What an ideal web-site.

  24. I would like to know if I can collect on my husbands disability check I am on ss and only make less than half of what he gets monthly.

    • Hi Sandy. Your benefit as a spouse can be equal to one-half of your husband’s full retirement amount only if you start receiving those benefits at your full retirement age. If a person begins to receive benefits at age 62 or prior to their full retirement age, their benefits are reduced. The reduction factors are permanently applied to all of the benefits the person may qualify for. Generally, when you apply for your Social Security benefits, we also review your eligibility for a higher benefit under your spouse’s record. However, if someone is eligible for both, his or her own benefit and for benefits as a spouse, we always pay their own first. If their spousal benefits are higher than their own retirement benefits, he or she will get a combination of benefits equaling the higher spouse benefit. Please visit our Retirement Planner: Benefits For Your Spouse for more information. To see if you are eligible for a higher benefit amount, call us at 1-800-772-1213. Representatives are available between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., Monday through Friday but you will generally have a shorter wait time if you call later in the day or later in the week.

  25. I mailed via certified mail a request for reveiw which the AC recieved on 11/24/15 and resubmitted all of the documents including a photocopy of the initial mailing via certified mail, which the AC stamped on 3/2/16. I recieved a voicemail today from the AC saying they do not have it. I made sure that my social security number was on every page the second time that it was sent. I know that they have it, they just need to find where they put it; that is assuming that they did not shred everything that was sent. This is a real life nightmare.

  26. Well, at least I have proof that the mailings were in fact recieved by the AC at the time that they were sent, but I would really like for this to be over with out having to file a civil suit. I’m at a complete loss; should I send everything again for the third time, what would be different this time around?

    • We apologize for the inconvenience and suggest that you contact the AC office directly, or visit your local Social Security office for assistance. If you visit the local office, we suggest that you bring with you, all of the documents related to your claim. Thanks!

      • Thank you. My local social security office would not forward the documents pertaining to my claim. As stated before, they have with held evidence, placed a current appeal into an archives file, held a request for hearing, gave incorrect, incomplete, and misleading information and denied due process repetively. I will try and contact Susan G. at the AC again on Monday. Thanks

  27. I hope someone can direct us to people who can help: my grandson received a letter in July stating that he would receive benefits retroactive to March 2016. To this date, he has received NOTHING.

    He has dealt with the local office and they keep telling him the “bookkeepers have not updated their records”.

    He has children and monthly payments like the rest of us.

    Who an he turn to?

    • Unfortunately, your grandson’s issue is a bit more complex than we can handle in this forum. For security reasons, we do not have access to information about personal records in this venue. your grandson should continue to work with the local office, and if necessary, ask to speak with the manager to see how we can help to resolve his situation. If unable to visit the local office, he can call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778. Representatives are available Monday through Friday between 7:00a.m. and 7:00p.m. Generally, you will have a shorter wait time if you call later in the week. Thanks.

  28. Is it legal for a psychiatrist in private practice to discriminate against a mentally ill person by refusing to take them on as a new patient simply because they are on SSDI? I was just refused psychiatric services by the only clinic on Long Island that I could find that accepts Medicare because the psychiatrist that rents the space in the clinic will not see anyone who is on disability. All the other Dr.’s won’t accept Medicare. How is this legal?

  29. “ Social Security provides financial benefits, services, and information to help support you throughout life’s journey (UNLESS YOU ARE AN ADULT DISABLED CHILD AND YOU MARRY SOMEONE WHO IS NOT DISABLED, THEN THEY USE THIS RULE TO JUSTIFY THEIR DISCRIMINATION AGAINST YOU). On August 1, we celebrated the 60th anniversary of the beginning of the Social Security disability insurance program.

    Enacted as a part of the Social Security Amendments of 1956, the disability program is an essential lifeline for many workers and their families (BUT NOT ALL PHYSICALLY DISABLED PERSONS). People earn this benefit by working and contributing to the Social Security fund . It reinforces a deeply rooted American value – providing financial protection for those who can no longer do substantial work ” (THIS STATEMENT IS A TOTAL LIE, BECAUSE IF YOU ARE AN ADULT DISABLED CHILD AND UNABLE TO WORK BECAUSE YOU ARE PHYSICALLY AND TOTALLY DISABLED AND YOU MARRY AN ABLE BODIED PERSON, THEY WILL NOT PROVIDE ANY “FINANCIAL PROTECTION FOR THOSE WHO CAN NO LONGER DO SUBSTANTIAL WORK” WHATSOEVER!

    The Socialist Security system can’t even fix an outdated “RULE” that they use to justify discrimination against physically disabled people.

    If you are a physically disabled person (an adult disabled child) and you happen to marry an “able bodied person” you will be loosing out on a lifetime of benefits, all because of a one word “rule” that prohibits you from marrying an “able bodied person”. Best of all, they never tell you about their “Rule” so that they can justify cutting off any benefits that you may be due.

    Because you are physically disabled (adult disabled child) and you choose not to marry another adult disabled child or disabled person drawing off socialist security, you WILL LOOSE ANY AND ALL BENEFITS FOR LIFE. This means that the SOCIALIST SECURITY system is TELLING YOU WHO YOU ARE ALLOWED TO MARRY and who you are
    NOT ALLOWED TO MARRY! It is a discriminatory act “rule” and should be ILLEGAL!

    Even though I am permanently and totally disabled, if I marry an “able bodied person”, somehow that marriage makes everything ok and I am no longer considered disabled (in the eyes of the socialist security system). Magically (because I married an able bodied person), the pixie fairies come down and cure my disability, because now I can just go out and find gainful employment, no one will discriminate against my physical disability and everything will be grand, right? Somehow magically, marrying an able bodied person makes my physical disablility dissappear and now I am cured, right? WRONG!

    The issue is a special “Rule” that the Socialist Security System uses to discriminate against “certain” people. If you are a “physically disabled person” (AKA-certain people) and happen to marry an able bodied person, then the SOCIALIST SECURITY system will use special “Rules” to legally discriminate against you and deny you benefits, even if you appeal online.

    The SOCIALIST SECURITY system has caused me a lot of economic hardship all because I married an able bodied person. The SOCIALIST SECURITY system thinks someone who is physically disabled (permanently and totally disabled) marries an “able bodied person”, that somehow magically they are cured of their physical disability and two people can survive off the able bodied persons income. WOW, talk about a bunch of bureaucratic idiotic thinking, that somehow this would not cause a financial hardship….. amazing.

    The rules that the Social Security Administration uses to legally discriminate against persons who are “Adult Disabled Children” who happen to marry an able bodied person, are discriminatory. This is loosely referred to as the “marriage penalty” but I call it exactly what it is, a legal form of discrimination.
    I firmly believe this rule, is an act of bias, prejudice and discrimination against people who (by no fault of their own) are born disabled and happen to marry an able bodied person

    Please write your Congressional Representative and tell them to end this modern day form of Legal Discrimination. In this day of fairness and equality, there are still some people suffering from an outdated and oppressive bureaucratic rule.

    (PS. notice how the only thing any of these SOCIALIST SECURITY workers ever say are quotes of the rules or processes, like a worker drone. They are unable to address any topics that fall outside of their rule books). Typical bureaucracy and bureaucratic responses, like trying to argue over lost change with a vending machine!

    • If I had to guess it would be that they believe your spouse can support you. When your spouse retires or becomes disabled you may be eligible for benefits off of your spouse’s record; But it’s just a guess.

      • In 2014 the average OSHA fatal work injury rate per 100,000 people was 3.4. The 2016 Annual OASDI reports the disability death rate under the intermediate assumptions evolves from a level of 13.4 per thousand beneficiaries for 2015 to 11.3 per thousand beneficiaries for 2025. between 1,340 and 1,130 deaths per 100,000. This is nearly 500 times higher death rate than average for other careers that don’t involve a permanent or terminal disability. A risk of death three times greater than normal might be descriptive of disabled persons who do not specifically diagnosed with terminal illnesses. OSHA should maybe differentiate and include the death rates for (1) ‘all disability beneficiaries 1,130 fatalities per 100,000 and (2) non-terminal permanently disabled people 10.2 per 100,000.

        Social Security Amendments of January 1, 2016

        To legislate a 2.4% DI tax rate to pay for a 6% COLA for calendar year 2017 and 2.2% DI tax rate and 3% COLA every year thereafter.

        To amend the DI tax rate from 1.80% in 2015, to 2.37% in 2016, to 2.40% in 2017, to 2.20% in 2018 to when all the Baby Boomer shall have retired. To increase the 0.9% DI tax in 2015 to 1.2% DI tax for employees and employers in 2017 and 1.1% in 2018 under Sec. 201(b)(1)(S) of the Social Security Act 42USC(7)II§401.

        To amend the OASI tax rate from 10.60% in 2015, to 10.03% in 2016, to 10.00% in 2017 and 10.20% in 2018 and thereafter to prevent the DI fund from being depleted and OASI Trust Fund from premature deficit. To increase the 5.30% OASI tax in 2015 to 5.00% in 2017, to 5.10% in 2018, for employees and employers under 26USC(C)(21)(A)§3111 (a) without increasing the overall 12.4% OASDI or 15.3% OASDI and Hospital Insurance (HI) Federal Insurance Contribution Act tax-rate under 26USC(A)(2)§1401.

        To pay a 6% Cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) 2017 to compensate for the theft of the 2016 COLA and 3% COLA every year thereafter to protect benefit determination from attrition by average estimated inflation of 2.6% in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) under Sec. 215(i) of the Social Security Act 42USC§415(i).

  30. I heard that you always get turned down the first couple of times you apply for SSD. I am only 54 and partially blind. SSD told me I couldn’t collect because I wasn’t 100% blind. I was told to get an attorney if I ever wanted to be considered for SSD. Why should I pay someone something when the SSD is supposed to help people????

    • The Social Security Administration (SSA) does not require a claimant to have representation at any level, even at a disability hearing or at federal district court. We neither encourage nor discourage representation. If your application for disability benefits was denied, you have a right to file an appeal. You must file an appeal within 60 days from the date you received your notice of denial. The choice to use representation is solely your decision and you will have the choice to decline representation when filing the appeal. If you need help with filing your appeal, you may contact your local Social Security office. We hope this information helps!

  31. I’ll reach full retirement age in few months. I’d like to delay collecting my retirement benefits until age 70 in order to increase my monthly benefits. My spouse is 52 years old and disabled. Can I file restricted application for spousal benefits in order to collect half of my spouse’s disability benefits until I start collecting mine at age 70? thanks in advance for your response.

    • Hi Mason, under the new law, you can still voluntarily suspend benefit payments at your full retirement age (currently 66) in order to earn higher benefits for delaying. But during a voluntary suspension, other benefits payable on your record, such as benefits to your spouse, are also suspended. And, if you have suspended your benefits, you cannot continue receiving other benefits (such as spousal benefits) on another person’s record. For more information visit our Retirement Planner: Voluntary Suspension FAQs. We have developed instructions for our field office employees so they can answer questions before this change takes effect for suspension requests that are submitted on or after April 30, 2016.
      If you have further questions or to make an appointment, please call our toll-free number at 1-800-772-1213. Representatives are available Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Thanks!




  33. what is the difference between ssi and ssdi how do I know which one I am getting? If I get offered part b of Medicare am I getting SSDI?

    • Thank you for your question Barb. We pay disability benefits through two programs: the Social Security disability insurance program (SSDI) and the Supplemental Security Income (SSI). SSI is a needs based disability program that pays benefits to people with limited income and resources who are disabled, blind, or age 65 or older. Blind or disabled children may also get SSI.
      SSDI pays disability benefits to those who cannot work due to a medical condition that is expected to last at least one year or result in death, providing the person has paid enough into the Social Security program. Individuals become eligible for Medicare after they receive SSDI-disability benefits for 24 months. Please contact us at 1-800-772-1213 if you need further assistance. Representatives are available Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.

  34. Do you happen to know how and when I should apply for a “freeze” so the years not worked due to being on SSDI will not downgrade my social security retirement benefits? Will be going off SSDI this year and qualify for SS benefits next year.

    • Hello, Denise. Thanks for your question. A period of disability, if used to compute a beneficiary’s retirement benefits, could have a reduction effect on his or her future benefits. This is because a disabled individual, generally has little or no earnings during a period of disability. We refer to a period of disability for a worker as a “disability freeze”. To prevent the reduction or loss of future benefits, a disability freeze eliminates the years of low earnings due to disability when computing benefit amounts for certain Social Security benefits. The disability freeze provisions, in effect, ignore periods of disability when computing a retirement benefit. Thus, the individual is “held-harmless” as far their potential entitlement to other types of Social Security benefits. In most cases, you will continue to receive benefits as long as you are disabled. If you are receiving Social Security disability benefits when you reach full retirement age, your disability benefits automatically convert to retirement benefits, but the amount remains the same. Keep in mind your disability benefits are generally higher than early retirement benefits. We hope this helps.

  35. Please tell the new Acting Commissioner Nancy Berryhill to purchase the Budget Declaration of the United States of America and Social Security Amendments with a 3% COLA from January 1, 2017.

    The only profession more dangerous than logging is retiree. Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) reports that logging has the highest death rate of any career at a rate of about 100 per 100,000 per year, since the Mining Safety and Health Act of 1977 reduced the rate of mining accidents to less than 20 per 100,000 labor years. The average death rate for all careers studied by OSHA is about 3 deaths per 100,000. In peacetime there have been years where the entire million man US military does not report a single casualty – 50-100 crunches, 50-100 push-ups and 3 mile run. National death rate statistics maintained by the SSA Actuary slightly improve, go down at an average rate of 99.93% annually from a death rate of 781.4 per 100,000 for all ages, 239.8 per 100,000 under the age of 65 and 4,392.3 per 100,000 over the age of 65 in 2015. According to the Actuary the total age-sex-adjusted death rate declined at an average annual rate of 1.05 percent between 1900 and 2013. Between 1979 and 2013, the period for which death rates were analyzed by cause, the total age-sex-adjusted death rate, for all causes combined, declined at an average rate of 0.93 percent per year. Death rates have declined substantially in the U.S. since 1900, with rapid declines over some periods and slow or no improvement over the other periods. Historical death rates generally declined more slowly for older ages and more rapidly for children and infants than for the rest of the population. Between 1900 and 2013, the age-sex-adjusted death rate for ages 65 and over declined at an average rate of 0.78 percent per year, while declining at an average rate of 3.08 percent per year for ages under 15 (Goss ’16: 85). According to Child Trends Databank death rates for children have fallen dramatically since 1980. Deaths rates for infants under 1 year fell from 1,288 to 588 per 100,000 between 1980 and 2014. Between 1980 and 2014 the death rate of children ages 1 to 4 dropped from 64 to 24 per 100,000. Between 1980 and 2014 the death rate of children ages five to 14 went down from 31 to 13 per 100,000. Between 1980 and 2014 the death rate for teens between the ages of 15 and 19 went down from 98 to 46 per 100,000. Risk of dying increases for high school students mostly because of driving accidents. Males between the ages of 15 and 19 are twice as likely to die as females 63 versus 29 deaths per 100,000 in 2014. There is no need to adjust the social security Actuary mortality assumptions because the only reason that under age 65 deaths are so high is because of infant mortality under age 1 was 588 per 100,000 in 2014. The death rate for disability beneficiaries is estimated to be about 10 per 100,000, more than three times higher than the national average of 3 per 100,000 (Chesser ’16). The actual death and recovery rates of disability beneficiaries requires further study in the annual report.

    Sanders, Tony J. Budget Declaration of the United States of America. Social Security Amendments of January 1, 2017. White House Office of Management and Budget FY 2018. 2017 Annual Summer Solstice Instructions to the Board of Trustees of the Federal OASDI Trust Funds and SSI Program Hospitals & Asylums HA-1-1-17

    • Hi Lynn. For information about the food stamps program, also called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), you will need to contact your local SNAP office. In most states, if you receive SSI, you may be eligible to receive SNAP assistance to purchase food. The assistance you receive from SNAP does not affect your SSI benefits. For more information on SNAP, visit We hope this helps.

  36. Why not SSI?? I’m confined to my home. Using a walker and still can’t stand for two minuets. Just to get up to go to the bathroom, hurts so much and I get so winded. I’m in constant pain. No pain meds. I know what this woman is going through is worse than what I’m going through. I lost my hearing at first it was gradually and then speeded up. My T-score is -3.0 bones are brittle. I’m just always in constant pain. I’m so very so for this woman and will keep her in my prayers. Thanks for listening.

  37. Hello, I need a few publications; 05-10100, 05-101, 05-10101, 05-10061, 05-10095 and 64_030. I have tried everything; telephoning ss (the automated voice thanked me for calling and hung up the phone) and searching online (that’s how I got here). Please tell me how to get them.

    • Hello Tina, we will automatically convert your Social Security disability benefits to retirement benefits when you attain your full retirement age.
      The Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program is a needs-based program that pays benefits to disabled adults and children who have limited income and resources. SSI benefits are also payable to people 65 and older without disabilities who meet the financial limits. If you have low income and limited resources, you may be eligible to receive both benefits. In 2018, the SSI monthly payment for an individual is $750.
      If you think you’re eligible, you can apply by calling our national toll-free service at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778). Representatives are available Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Or you can contact your local Social Security office.
      We hope this information helps.

  38. As a social security disability attorney in Dallas since 1991, I know how important this program is and what it means to struggling families. Very good article highlighting how important this program is, and how strict the definition of disability is, – especially needed now that the disability is program is under biased attacks in the media.

  39. we were told to look into the program for increased social security benefits for vets. My husband is 100%disabled from the Vietnam war caused by agent orange. He is in a chair for movement.
    we would like to know more about it.

  40. I recently gave some information to a rep. ( I think ) from AARP. in reference to my disability benefits. I have received Disability since 2008. Is there any way to check any unnecessary activity with my social security without my knowledge ?

  41. I was married and divorced then remarried my husband died 6 months later I am now 60 am I eligible for any of his as benifits

  42. It would be great to peak into the insurance blog run by Alchemy Insurance Agency provides free insurance quotes in life insurance, auto insurance, commercial insurance, farm insurance &, etc.

  43. I am planning to apply to take spousal / widow benefits vs taking my own ssi benefits in Jan. 2020. How do I accomplish this and can I do this online I will be 66 years old on January 1, 2020. Thank you.

    • Hi Carole. We are sorry to hear about your loss. The amount of your widow’s benefit is based on several factors, including: the earnings of your husband, when he started receiving his benefits, your age, and the amount of your own retirement benefit. We compare your own benefit with your potential survivor benefit. If your survivor benefit would be higher than your own current retirement benefit, you would be eligible for survivor benefits. At this time, we do not offer an online application for survivors benefits. You can call our toll-free number at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) to request an appointment. Generally, you will have a shorter wait time if you call later in the day. For information about survivors benefits, visit our Survivor Planner: If You Are The Survivor. We hope this helps

    • Hi, Taisiz. Thanks for your question. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formally known as the food stamp program, provides help for low-income households to buy the food needed for good health. In most states, if you receive SSI, you may be eligible to receive SNAP assistance to purchase food . The assistance you receive from SNAP does not affect your SSI benefits. For more information on SNAP, visit here. We hope this helps.

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