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Five facts about Social Security Disability insurance claims

We never know what the future will bring. However, by paying attention to statistics, studies and research, our readers from La Crosse can have a decent idea of what our future may bring -- and thus, how to prepare for it.

According to the Social Security Administration, one in four individuals will become disabled before they retire. That means that 25 percent of workers may be eligible for Social Security Disability insurance benefits prior to collecting their Social Security retirement income.

When most people think of collecting SSDI, they think of an on-the-job injury or an accidental injury. However, that isn't the source of most disabilities. These five common misconceptions about SSDI claims may surprise you.

  1. Most disability is due to disease or illness-related issues, not accidental injuries. Among the illnesses, arthritis is the top disability producer. Others include chronic conditions such as COPD, diabetes, asthma and heart disease.
  2. Women are more likely to be disabled compared to men, according to the Center for Disease Prevention and Control. Women (18 percent) are also more concerned about disability compared to men (12 percent).
  3. People underestimate the financial consequences. For a person earning $50,000 annually for 40 years on average, that is a $2 million lifetime earnings. If they become disabled in their 40s, that is $1 million potentially in lost income.
  4. Most people don't consider disability in their financial planning or retirement planning.
  5. Four in ten people do not have disability coverage, other than that provided by Social Security.

It is possible to obtain an SSDI claim, although that may not be enough. If you or a loved one is suffering from one of the disabling conditions caused by a disease or illness, it is a wise idea to consult with a legal or other professional to discuss your options.

Source: Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel, "Disability: What you don't know can hurt you," May 10, 2012

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