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Are Social Security Disability benefits “welfare”?

On Behalf of | Jul 6, 2016 | Social Security Administration News

Any of our Los Angeles readers who are familiar with previous posts here know that there can be a great deal of confusion when it comes to applying for benefits from the Social Security Administration. It seems like it doesn’t matter if an applicant is attempting to get approved for Supplemental Security Income, Social Security Disability benefits or Social Security retirement benefits – we all know that when it comes to the federal government, hardly anything is easy. But one question that leads to confusion can be addressed squarely: Are Social Security Disability benefits something that most people refer to as “welfare”?

In short, the answer to this question is a resounding “No.” When people think of “welfare,” they probably think of financial benefits that are handed out by the government to people in need – regardless of those individuals’ work history, ability to work or ability to pay taxes. When it comes to Social Security Disability benefits, there is no “hand out.” Los Angeles residents who receive SSD benefits do so because they have paid into the system that funds those benefits over the course of a working and income-earning life. The funds in the SSD benefit trust belong to these workers – they are not “welfare.”

So, why the confusion? Why would some people view SSD benefits as “welfare”? Perhaps it is because the Social Security Administration also oversees the Supplemental Security Income program – a program that provides financial assistance to elderly people of limited financial resources and disabled children who have never, and may never be able to, work.

Los Angeles residents who are thinking of applying for SSD benefits should not be ashamed and think that SSD benefits are “welfare.” They certainly are not.

Source:, “Social Security: SS disability payments are NOT welfare,” Tom Margenau, July 3, 2016

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