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Understanding Social Security Disability Insurance

Workers in West Virginia can use Social Security as part of their contingency plan if they experience a loss of income due to a disability, retirement or the death of the household wage earner. By the time 2016 ended, there were 61 million people in the United States receiving Social Security benefits. Sixty-eight percent of them were retired, 14 percent had a qualifying disability and 18 percent were spouses, children or surviving family members of workers who were entitled to the funds. Social Security Disability Insurance is an important part of the benefits program that essentially works alongside retirement benefits. Based on information from the Social Security Administration, young workers entering the workforce have a 33.3 percent likelihood of either dying or receiving a disability before reaching the full retirement age for Social Security.

Both workers and employers are obligated to contribute to the disability insurance fund through the tax deductions that are taken from their wages. Out of the total 12.4 percent payroll taxes, 2.37 percent, of which both the workers and employers pay half, is placed into the disability fund.

Although the trust funds for the two programs are two separate entities, they are often referred to as one when the long-term financial sustainability of Social Security is being discussed. The Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance trust funds are expected to be empty by 2034. In order to make up for shortfalls each of the funds has, Congress periodically allows small transfers to be made, with the most recent occurring in 2015.

An attorney who practices Social Security law may assist clients who are seeking Social Security Disability benefits. The attorney may assist with the application process, gathering proof of the inability to work, and may also help clients who have been denied the benefits mount an appeal.

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Shawn Taylor, PLLC
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