How Does SSDI Protect American Workers?

Recently, a representative with the Center for American Progress testified before the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee about the importance of the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program for working Americans.

Rebecca Vallas, the Director of Policy of the Poverty to Prosperity Program, discussed how Americans can suffer injuries at any time and how they can turn to SSDI for assistance.

“Imagine that tomorrow, while cleaning out your gutters, you fall off a ladder. You suffer a traumatic brain injury and spinal cord damage, leaving you paralyzed, unable to speak, and with significantly impaired short- and long-term memory,” Vallas said. “Now imagine your relief when you realize an insurance policy you have been paying into all your working life will help keep you and your family afloat by replacing a portion of your lost wages. It is our Social Security system.”

Vallas noted how SSDI provides basic protections for workers during their peak working years, how eligibility requirements are stringent (only the most serious disabilities qualify people for benefits) and how the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 will strengthen the program.

According to Vallas, about 90 percent of workers ages 21 to 64 are protected by SSDI, or about 160 million Americans and their family members. To qualify for benefits, a person must have earned work credits and have contributed to the system through payroll taxes.

The SSDI program ensures that millions of Americans have some type of financial security following an accident or illness. To read Vallas’ testimony, you can visit the American Progress’ website by clicking on the source link below.

Collecting SSDI, If You Can No Longer Work

We appreciate Vallas’ continued support of the SSDI program. Remember, to collect benefits, you must show that your condition is severe—many applications are denied, so reports you hear about the Social Security system being easy to game are erroneous.

If you have questions about SSDI eligibility requirements, you can visit our Social Security FAQ page.



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