If you are disabled and can no longer work, income from Social Security disability insurance (SSDI) can be a lifeline. It is fair to ask, however, how long those benefits must last.

After all, Americans are living longer than ever before. And more and more people have been applying for SSDI in recent years. Indeed, in less than four years, the number of people added to the rolls is nearly 5.9 million.

Overall, there are now 8.3 disabled workers receiving payments from the SSD insurance program. When spouses and dependent children are included, the number of people receiving support comes to 10.3 million.

To be sure, the average benefit is not that large, at $1,111 per month as of last August. But the money is very important to the people who get it – precisely because their disabilities get in the way of bringing in income by continuing to work.

Yet in this political climate, in a program so large, there are understandably plenty of critics of how SSDI is administered. A recent investigation by a Senate committee called for tightening up the approval process. The concern, of course, is that people who aren’t really disabled might be approved for payments.

Be prepared, then, to gather all the evidence you need to make your case in the SSDI approval process. This will likely include showing exactly how your medical condition or conditions correspond to the Listing of Impairments used by the Social Security Administration.

In short, don’t be daunted by having to go through this process. Instead, be prepared to see it through.

Source: “More Americans Dependent on Disability, Longer,” Mercatus Center, George Mason University, Veronique de Rugy, 10-1-12

Our firm handles situations similar to those discussed in this post. To learn more about our practice, please visit our Michigan Social Security disability page.