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Statistics dispel some disability myths

Some recent statistics about who is getting Social Security Disability payments sheds some light on exactly whom this program is serving most often. The statistics may also help dispel an unfortunate misconception that people only pursue SSD benefits when they do not want to work.

The reality is that most Social Security Disability payments, almost 9 out of 10, are going to people who actually have a work history. Moreover, the average age of a disability recipient, 54, is telling in that it suggests a typical applicant for benefits may have been in the work force and gainfully employed for years if not decades before needing help due to a disability.

Finally, the number of people who were getting help through Supplemental Security Income, which is available to those with little to no work history but who are of limited means, was considerably lower, ranging from about 1 out of 6 to 1 out of 8 beneficiaries, depending on how one looked at the statistics.

It was true that the largest single reason for disability were problems with one's musculoskeletal system, which could include things like the proverbial bad back. However, overall, these sorts of issues only accounted for slightly less than one-third of disability claims. A range of other conditions made up the remainder of claims.

The bottom line is that Charlotte workers and people from other parts of North Carolina apply for disability oftentimes because they need it in order to replace the income they lost when they could no longer work. Even so, going through the process is complicated and may be best navigated with the help of an experienced attorney.

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