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SSD benefits go to Californians who have been working

There are many Californians who are involved with Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits -- both recipients and employees with the Social Security Administration -- who are concerned about the perception of who is allowed to receive SSD benefits. As election races ramp up throughout California and the rest of the country, Social Security Disability is a frequent topic.

Perhaps that is why, in a recent article, an employee with the Social Security Administration implored readers to remember that SSD benefits are not just awarded to anyone who applies. The fact is that SSD recipients are people who were once a part of the workforce, but for whatever reason, their disability now prevents them from engaging in substantially gainful activity. And, during their working careers, these individuals worked for a long enough period of time to qualify as "insured" against disability.

Any of our Los Angeles readers who are familiar with our previous posts here know the requirements that must be met to qualify for SSD benefits are strict. The applicant's disability must be so severe that the person will not be able to work for at least a year, and the applicant must have the requisite number of work credits. If these requirements are not met, the applicant will be denied Social Security Disability benefits. Indeed, an estimated six out of 10 applicants are denied benefits.

Another frequently misunderstood SSD benefits concept was also pointed out in the recent article -- SSD benefits are not always meant to last a lifetime. If a recipient later finds an employment position that can accommodate their disability, the Social Security Administration has programs to help with that transition.

Source: Sequim Gazette, "Social Security disability helps people who work," Kirk Larson, Oct. 21, 2015

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