Graduates’ Long-Term Financial Goals Should Include Strong Safety Net

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Chance for disability highlights importance of Social Security Disability Insurance program

Allsup representatives help people of all ages determine their next steps, especially in the face of a severe disability that prevents them from working.

Planning for a disability is probably the last thing on the minds of hundreds of thousands of young men and women graduating from college this spring—or those already in the workforce. If you are new to the work force, it’s important to plan for long-term financial security, including potential disability, according to Allsup, a nationwide provider of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) representation and Medicare plan selection services.

While it’s natural to be filled with hope and excitement when beginning new careers, there’s a good chance statistically that younger workers will have to deal with a work-stopping injury or illness before they reach full retirement age. The Social Security Administration (SSA) reports that a 20-year-old has a three in 10 chance of becoming disabled before reaching retirement. Many younger workers may not realize that part of their Social Security taxes go toward Social Security Disability Insurance. For those who understand this benefit, there still are important questions to consider. For example, will those benefits be enough, particularly if you have a family to support?

“Just planning ahead financially is important,” said Paul Gada, Allsup’s personal financial planning director. “If you are thinking about this, you should also be thinking beyond your current circumstances. Be aware that Social Security disability income is just one part of a safety net that also includes employer retirement plans and personal investments.”

SSDI is a federally mandated insurance program that taxpayers and their employers fund through payroll taxes. It is designed to provide monthly benefits to those who have experienced a severe disability and can no longer work for 12 months or longer, or who have a terminal condition.

Financial Plans That Consider Disability
The environment surrounding employee benefits has shifted dramatically. One example is retirement planning, which has experienced a generational change from employer-paid pension programs to 401(k) programs funded by employees and employers, in some cases. More and more, financial preparedness falls on workers’ shoulders.

“Even with the current level of Social Security benefits you earn through your job, this probably won’t be enough to sustain you financially when you no longer work,” Gada said.

It’s a big help, he said, but you should look for other ways to minimize financial hardship down the line. “Look into a long-term disability insurance plan that you pay into now, and have an emergency savings fund you truly don’t touch except for emergencies,” he said.

Statistically speaking, 100 million people don’t have an extra safety net beyond SSDI, he said. When they stop working, it could be years before they receive Social Security benefits. In the past year alone, more than 1.8 million SSDI applicants were awaiting review of their claims and disability appeals, according to the SSA.

“This means they weren’t receiving any money from Social Security. In addition, the SSDI application process, from initial application to final award of benefits, could take a year to two years, or longer,” Gada said. “If the hope of getting SSDI is your only plan for income after experiencing a disability, you’re going to suffer financially, possibly a great deal.”

There are a number of benefits to applying for Social Security Disability Insurance, if it should become necessary. This includes eventual eligibility for Medicare coverage and dependent benefits.

For this reason, it’s important to include SSDI in long-term financial plans by being fully aware of the program and knowing how best to go about getting these benefits if and when they’re needed.

Find more information in Allsup’s Online Guide to Personal Finance, which is designed to help people with disabilities and their families outline a financial blueprint.

“Allsup representatives help people of all ages determine their next steps, especially in the face of a severe disability that prevents them from working,” Gada said. “Our goal is to build awareness for people and their families, including young workers and college graduates, about the need to have a solid financial map for their futures, no matter the experiences they encounter.”

For many workers, this is the opportune time to evaluate their preparedness for a disability, especially since May is Disability Insurance Awareness Month.

“You don’t have to—and in fact should not—wait until you’re forced by injury or illness to quit working before you seek help,” Gada said. “Start right now by making careful plans that will help ensure you and your family are protected financially if, down the road, something should happen that ends your working days. Seek out professional help in making the right choices.”

Find more information on about the Social Security Disability Insurance program. Those who have questions about SSDI eligibility can receive a free disability evaluation by calling the Disability Evaluation Center at (800) 678-3276.

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 800 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. For more information, visit

Rebecca Ray
(800) 854-1418, ext 65065
Dan Allsup, ext 65760

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