"The Social Security Administration and its nearly 65,000 workers continue to provide an invaluable service to Americans who retire or who can no longer work because of disability," Jim Allsup, president and CEO of Allsup
Belleville, Ill (Vocus) August 11, 2010
When the Social Security Act was signed into law 75 years ago, it introduced a form of economic security that didn’t exist for the elderly. Nineteen years later, the disability division was created. The Great Depression was a triggering event for the original legislation, and now, during the current economic crisis, individuals and their families are realizing the crucial support provided by Social Security’s programs, according to Allsup, a nationwide provider of Social Security disability representation and Medicare plan selection services.
“The Social Security Administration and its nearly 65,000 workers continue to provide an invaluable service to Americans who retire or who can no longer work because of disability,” said Jim Allsup, president and CEO of Allsup. “We honor SSA workers’ dedication to public service and thank them for making these programs possible. We especially recognize their commitment to improve Social Security’s disability backlog crisis. We hope that government and industry can work together to ensure that all Americans with disabilities receive the benefits they have earned.”
To help commemorate the anniversary that falls on Aug. 14, 2010, Allsup highlights some of the features of the program from then and now, and highlights lesser-known aspects of Social Security. One of those features is the “disability freeze” that protects retirement benefits when someone receives Social Security disability benefits. People receiving Social Security disability benefits eventually transition to retirement benefits when they reach full retirement age. Enacted in 1954, the “freeze” means that when someone has years of little or no earnings because of a disability, those years are not included in the calculation for retirement benefits. This protects someone’s level of retirement benefits and insured status. More insights are provided below.
Social Security: Then and Now
Beneficiaries (receiving benefits)
1937: 53,236 total beneficiaries
2010: 58,541,000 total beneficiaries in the month of June
Benefits issued (dollars)
1937: $1,278,000 beneficiary payments for that year
2010: $57,092,000,000 beneficiary payments in the month of June
Workers’ insured status
1940: 24.2 million workers insured for retirement benefits
1954: 70.2 million workers insured for retirement benefits
1954: 31.9 million workers insured for disability benefits
2010: 206.5 million workers insured for retirement benefits
2010: 152.4 million workers insured for disability benefits
Average monthly benefit, individual
1947: $25 per month, retirement
1960: $74.04 per month, retirement
1960: $89.31 per month, disability
2010: $1,169.90 per month, retirement (June)
2010: $1,065.40 per month, disability (June)
Social Security: Did You Know?
- Nearly 80 million: Number of baby boomers filing for retirement benefits in the next 20 years.
- 10,000: Average number of baby boomers filing for retirement every day.
- 5: Key insurance benefits programs administered and/or supported by the Social Security Administration include: Retirement Insurance Program, Survivors Insurance Program, Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) Program, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), and Medicare. SSI is a needs-based program that provides stipends to low-income individuals who are blind, disabled, or age 65 or older.
- 1965: Year when amendments to the Social Security Act provided hospital insurance (later known as Medicare) to those age 65 or older who were entitled to monthly Social Security retirement benefits. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid administers the program, but individuals can file for Medicare benefits through the SSA.
- 52.7: Average age of workers receiving SSDI benefits in 2009.
- 1972: Year when the act was amended to institute a Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA), intended to help benefits keep pace with inflation.
- 7.65: Percent tax rate paid (each) by employees and their employers toward the Social Security insurance programs, including retirement, disability and Medicare. These taxes are assessed through the Federal Insurance Contributions Act and called FICA taxes.
- 0.9: Percent tax rate that individuals pay toward the disability insurance program as a portion of the overall 7.65 percent tax rate.
These insurance programs have benefitted taxpayers for decades, Allsup pointed out. The SSDI program, in particular, plays an important role for individuals and their families when they experience a severe disability and can no longer work. “It’s important that workers understand how these insurance programs were designed to support them when they become eligible,” Allsup said. “It’s just as evident now, as decades ago, that the financial repercussions of a disability are devastating, and Allsup is glad to play a role in helping individuals receive the benefits they’ve paid for when they can no longer work.”
For more information about Social Security disability benefits, contact the Allsup Disability Evaluation Center at (800) 279-4357 for free information and evaluation.
Allsup is a nationwide provider of Social Security disability, Medicare and Medicare Secondary Payer compliance services for individuals, employers and insurance carriers. Founded in 1984, Allsup employs nearly 700 professionals who deliver specialized services supporting people with disabilities and seniors so they may lead lives that are as financially secure and as healthy as possible. The company is based in Belleville, Ill., near St. Louis.
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