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Setting the Record Straight on Social Security Benefits

Three things you need to know (from our friends at Pond Lehocky):

Social Security is fiscally sound. Social Security is not a handout, you paid for it. Spreading the truth is the key to urging lawmakers to ignite change. There are rumors abound and false information regarding the financial status of the Social Security System and what really happens to that 6.2 percent taken from your paychecks. We want you to know the facts!

We want you to understand that Social Security isn't going anywhere for the hardworking men and women who have paid into the trust fund. Social SecurityAs long as Americans are working, Social Security will have funds. Currently, $2.8 trillion is stored in the Social Security Trust Fund, which is collected from wage earners' paychecks.1 That 6.2 percent taken from your paycheck is an insurance policy that you paid for; Social Security is not an entitlement or welfare program as some media have portrayed it.
While nearly everyone understands that Social Security assists retirees, there is a lesser known benefit built into the system in case you cannot work because of a disability. No one wants to be out of work, but if you become disabled and are unable to return to work, you have invested in an insurance policy that can assist you - Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). The false representation of SSDI in the media has caused some Americans to feel ashamed and embarrassed to apply for benefits even though they are compiled from the money the government deducted from their paychecks. 

Internal issues affecting applicants

Delays in processing applications are affecting America's most vulnerable - those on long-term disability. Less than 30 percent of initial applicants are awarded benefits, which are modest at an average $1,130. Processing delays have caused some to file for bankruptcy or lose their homes; some even die before seeing a penny of the money they are entitled to.2 An applicant must wait a minimum six months without any source of income, but the wait times nationally have been as high as 382 days in 2013 with no signs of decrease in 2014.3 Justice delayed is justice denied to those unable to work because of disabilities.

What can you do?

By knowing this information and sharing it, you can help ensure that lawmakers fulfill their obligations by advocating the importance of Social Security Disability Insurance and helping end delays within the system. Remind lawmakers of their responsibilities to advocate for disabled American workers. Urge lawmakers by signing the petition today to do something about the delays affecting injured workers and help dispel the false persona the media has created about Social Security Disability Insurance.

1YES! Magazine, "Infographic: Why Social Security's Not Going Broke,"

http://www.yesmagazine.org/issues/the-power-of-story/social-security

2 The Baltimore Sun," Social Security disability backlog in Md. Among the highest in the nation," http://articles.baltimoresun.com/2014-06-02/news/bs-md-ssa-delay-20140602_1_disability-backlog-ruppersberger-inspector-general

 

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