SSDI has often been described as a welfare program that is wildly out of control when it comes to spending and fraud, but would it surprise you to learn that’s not true? You actually earn the ability to draw SSDI benefits depending on how long you’ve been paying your payroll taxes. Does that sound familiar? It should, because it’s actually a part of that same system you expect to provide retirement benefits for you—Social Security.
That’s Right, SSDI Is Part of Social Security!
In order to receive Social Security disability insurance (SSDI), you normally have to work and pay taxes for at least 10 years. Your contribution to SSDI is 2.37 percent of the 12.4 percent you pay to Uncle Sam every pay check, and it’s that contribution that makes you eligible for SSDI if you are injured and cannot work again. Simple, right? Actually, it can get way more complicated, and that’s where a lot of confusion comes into play.
You see, to get benefits, you must prove your eligibility to the Social Security Administration. This involves an application process, and if your application is rejected, you must appeal the decision to prove that you deserve benefits. This is where things get tricky.
To stop people from faking disabilities and defrauding the system, the government has setup an obstacle course of security measures. These measures do a good job of keeping fakers out of the program, the Social Security Administration says that less than one percent of approved SSDI claims are fraudulent. However, lawmakers continue to add restrictions to fight fraud and save money, but that has had an unintended side effect.
The Price of SSDI Restrictions
Now, only one in three SSDI applications are approved upon submission, and only 40 percent of claims are approved after all appeals avenues have been exhausted. Worse yet, this has led to a 616-day average wait time for a disability hearing. That’s almost two years.
This waitlist doesn’t get the same publicity as the budget problems SSDI runs into, and this often leads to many people lumping SSDI and SSI in with welfare programs, but they are not. Learn more about America’s Social Security disability system by watching this video from our Tulsa disability attorney Steve Troutman.