Articles Posted in Estate Planning

Q: Should Americans count on Social Security benefits being available in the future?

That really is a two-pronged question. Will Social Security exist at all? And if so, will it be sufficient to support Americans who are retired or become disabled?

In order to know what the future holds, it may help to look back on the history of the Social Security retirement benefits system as well as Social Security Disability Insurance (“SSDI”) and Supplemental Security Income (“SSI”) programs. While Social Security retirement benefits are paid to workers upon their retirement, the latter two federal government programs pay work-based or need-based benefits to people with different qualifying disabilities as further detailed here.

What can happen when Social Security Disability Insurance payments aren’t processed promptly?

People usually assume that, if they are unfortunate enough to become disabled as a result of illness or injury, and are no longer able to work, they will be able to fall back on Social Security Disability Insurance, a cushion they have been paying into for all their working years. Nonetheless, as with other bureaucratic government agencies, the Social Security Disability system doesn’t always work.

Six years ago, a man in Port Washington, New York, the breadwinner of his family, suffered a severe heart attack. Mitch Cohen, a successful electrical engineer working at the One World Trade Center building until his cardiac event, recovered, but remained quite debilitated. His doctor told him he would only be able to work part-time.

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