social security word on blackboard

While some in Tennessee believe that Social Security disability insurance is a type of welfare program, recipients must have contributed to the fund for years to qualify for benefits. SSDI is an earned benefit that is available to people who develop disabling conditions that are so severe that they are no longer able to work. In addition to suffering from a disabling condition that prevents them from working, people must have worked a specific number of years and meet basic earnings requirements to qualify.

SSDI Stereotypes

Conservative politicians often portray people who receive SSDI as lazy, unwilling to work and not truly disabled. Some disabled people who receive SSDI also share similar stereotypes about others who receive benefits, asserting that drug use and alcohol abuse are all too common and the system is easily abused. To secure SSDI benefits, people must have worked for numerous years and have contributed enough money to the Social Security fund to be eligible. They must also be disabled to the extent that they are unable to perform any substantial gainful activity. The disability must also last for at least one year or be expected to result in death.

How SSDI Differs From Welfare

When people earn income, a percentage of their checks is taken out to go to the Social Security fund. Part of this money is allocated for the SSDI program. SSDI is a type of insurance that people pay for over time from their paychecks. When people apply for it, there isn’t a guarantee that they will receive it.

Temporary Aid to Needy Families (TANF), which is popularly known as welfare, differs in significant ways. There isn’t a requirement that people must have paid money into the system to obtain this benefit. They must be financially needy and unemployed or disabled to qualify for TANF benefits.

Some politicians often try to push stereotypes about SSDI to try to secure cuts to the program. It is important for people to understand what Social Security Disability Insurance really is and to apply for the program if they need the benefits.