85 years ago, the Social Security Act was created. The goal of this Act was to financially assist senior citizens in their retirement years by creating a general fund. This brought up the question of who else needed benefits. People disabled from an injury were clearly the most in need of this type of program. A period of testing a disability benefit program ensued.
By the 1940’s and into the 1950’s it became apparent that a disability program was a necessary program and that it should be enacted permanently. In 1948, the Advisory Council on Social Security to the Senate Finance Committee made official recommendations about payment amounts for recipients of this benefit. This would become the framework for the disability benefit system we have today.
The major challenge for the board was to decide who qualified for benefits and how much they were to receive. Some may say that this is the administrations biggest challenge even to this very day.
The current iteration of SSDI came about in 1974 by the Federally administrated program of Supplemental Security Income for the Aged, Blind, and Disabled (title XVI program).
In these official documents, disability is defined as the “inability to engage in any substantial gainful activity by reason of any medically determinable physical or mental impairment which can be expected to result in death or to be of long-continued and indefinite duration.”
Suffice it to say that we are better off as a society when we have programs that take care of the injured and disabled. We are in a much better place than we were 100 years ago. But there are always challenges and tweaks that come up from time to time. The laws need to change as society and societal demands change.
If you or someone you know is applying for disability, please know that it can be a daunting experience. It is better to approach it from the very start with an expert on your side. Know your legal rights. Enlist an expert to help you with your case.