Many Americans are ignorant to some of the most basic facts regarding how Social Security works. However, the topic of what to do regarding Social Security and its various insurance programs, including SSDI, has been a source of contention among lawmakers in Pennsylvania along with other states. Currently the Social Security program provides coverage for 86 percent of the population that is over the age of 65, however the program also covers many younger people as well.
There are three insurance programs included in Social Security. One of the programs, The Old Age and Survivors Insurance, is aimed at assisting those who have reached retirement age. Although most people believe Social Security is only for older people, there are some people who are below retirement age who are receiving benefits. In fact only 80 percent of benefits are received by people over the age of 62. The rest goes to survivors of workers who have passed away as well as disabled workers.
The SSDI program has had a significant increase in younger people receiving benefits than in the past. The average age of a worker receiving SSDI benefits in 2012 was 53.2 years. This is a significant decrease from the average in 1960 which was 57.2 years. Approximately 9 million workers have received SSDI benefits this year compared to 5.9 million in 2003. However, there are many who are worried that the SSDI benefits will run out by 2033 if lawmakers do not resolve the problem.
On the other hand, many experts do believe that lawmakers will eventually be able to keep the SSDI benefits from running out for disabled workers in Pennsylvania as well as the rest of the states. This means that injured workers will still be able to obtain benefits from the program. However, this will require applicants to follow the proper legal procedure in order to avoid having their claims for benefits rejected.
Source: Reuters, Column: Five things you should know about Social Security, Mark Miller, Aug. 30, 2013