Disability Benefits Confusing at Best!

The Motley Fool web site always has great articles – check this one about disability benefits!

Social Security — the social insurance program designed to provide financial security to lower-income retired workers, survivors of deceased workers, and the disabled — can be a critical source of income for millions of individuals in the U.S.

But the truth of the matter is that the Social Security can be downright confusing to many. And if you don’t understand the regulations that guide who qualifies and how much they qualify for, you’ll never be able to maximize its benefits.

Over the past two weeks we’ve simplified the basics of how workers qualify for the retired worker benefit — which receives the vast majority of Social Security funding — and looked more closely at how a worker would qualify to protect their family with Social Security survivor benefits (or even qualify as a beneficiary themselves). Today, we’ll examine the last key way to receive Social Security benefits: by claiming disability.

Social Security disability statistics

Before we dive into who qualifies for disability payments and how much those beneficiaries will be paid, let’s briefly look at what sort of benefits disabled workers, as defined by the Social Security Administration, are expected to receive as a whole.

According to the SSA, in 2014 more than 59 million Americans will receive about $863 billion collectively in Social Security benefits. In December 2013, roughly 8.8 million disabled workers received benefits, as did 2 million dependents of those disabled workers. If this data from December were to hold true throughout 2014, 16% of the aforementioned $863 billion — that’s about $138 billion — would be expected to go toward disability benefits this year… more here: