Afternoon naps, limited household chores, and unscheduled days lounging around the house. Looking from the outside, being a Social Security Disability (SSD) recipient seems a like a great deal. Receive income without working? Fantastic!
What some people do not know is that those afternoon naps may be required because of chronic fatigue or negative side-effects of a prescribed medication. Household chores are limited because the disabled person is physically unable to bend/stoop/push/pull/lift without excruciating pain. Lastly, staying at home may be the only option if driving causes intense pain or being in social situations induces paralyzing panic attacks.
Some people believe the current SSD program encourages able-bodied people to stay out of work. While this dream-world might be true for a very small percentage of cases, if we look a little closer, a different picture begins to appear.
As of November 2015, the average monthly benefit for a Disability recipient was $1,165.76. That makes for a yearly income of $13,989.12, which is only $2,219.12 above the 2015 Poverty Guideline for a one-person household. Looking at these numbers, it becomes clear that Disability payments do not provide for luxury goods.
Just in case you’re curious – in 2014 the average able-bodied American’s salary was $46,481.52 a year.
Aside from the limited financial aspects, it is also important to remember that the majority of individuals receiving Disability payments are battling severe medical problems. Health dominates their thoughts, controls their actions, and affects their relationships with family, friends, and loved ones.
Lastly, did you know that 1 out of every 5 males and 1 out of every 7 females on Disability will die within 5 years of getting approved? This dire statistic supports the idea that those individuals would not have been active within the workforce, regardless of if they were on disability or not.
The Social Security Administration’s Monthly Statistical Snapshot can be found at: http://www.ssa.gov/policy/docs/quickfacts/stat_snapshot/