Being healthy and at a healthy age, many young individuals in California and elsewhere do not consider the possibility of suffering a debilitating injury or illness. Nonetheless, such a situation could occur to even the younger working generation, making it important that millennials understand their rights to Social Security disability and how the current status of the government program could present issues if he or she is attempting to obtain these benefits.
While most millennials do not worry about suffering a disability causing them to be unable to work, the fact is that the average 20-year-old worker has a 1-in-4 chance of becoming disabled before they even reach the age of 67. This is according to the Social Security Administration.
Many are under the impression that the SSA serves those that a born with a disability or acquired one later in life. However, the chances of a young worker becoming ill or injured are much higher than anyone imagines. Because roughly 70 percent of workers in the private sector do not have long-term disability insurance, most workers have to rely on SSD benefits.
However, if a young worker suffered a disabling injury or illness, it is likely that he or she has not accumulated enough work credits to qualify for SSDI. It takes 40 credits and 20 of those must have been earned in the last 10 years. If an applicant does not qualify for SSDI, he or she could seek SSI benefits. But these only apply if an applicant can prove they have limited resources.
Even if a young worker goes through the lengthy process and is awarded SSD benefits, it is likely that these benefits will not replace their income. Because the average monthly disability benefit is around $1,171, this is likely not enough to cover all expenses and needs of the disabled millennial. In these cases, it is likely necessary to seek out other options and resources for assistance.
No matter your age, if you are unable to work because or a work injury or a disability, it is important to understand your rights. Social Security disability can be a helpful resource, and those seeking this benefit should understand how to initiate and proceed through the process.
Source: Nasdaq.com, "Why Millennials Need to Worry About Disability and Social Security," April 11, 2017