History of Social Security Disability

Social Security Disability History

The Social Security Disability system has been in effect since 1956. Initially, the Social Security retirement system was put into effect in 1934 but did not have a disability plan affiliated with it. Disability was enacted in 1956. It was done to assist those individuals who were unable to work due to medical problems but were not old enough for even early retirement.

Today the Social Security trust fund is decreasing in size. The Social Security Administration is trying to keep the fund solvent in many ways. The main problem with the fund is that people are simply living longer than ever before. Changes in medical technology and care, nutrition, and work environments have allowed for an explosion in the life expectancy rate. In 1934, the start of Social Security retirement, the life expectancy of a male was 59 and 63 for a female. It is easy to see that the average person in 1934 was not expected to receive retirement benefits. Life expectancy was earlier than the eligibility age for full retirement benefits. The average person was never expected to reach the age of disability. However, the life expectancy of both men and women had risen above 65 by 1950. Hence, there was more concern about the disabled being able to survive until retirement age.

After being in place for over 60 years, the Social Security Disability plan has gone through various changes. It continues today as a means of income for those who are unable to sustain full-time employment due to medical issues. An individual may still be eligible to receive Social Security Disability even though they receive worker's compensation benefits, long term disability, and/or VA benefits.