Here’s a sobering fact: Disability can happen to anyone at any age regardless of their age, gender or ethnicity. Disability touches—in one way or another-- nearly everyone in the U.S., because about one in five Americans live with a disability, that’s 56 million of your fellow citizens and nearly 38 million people have severe disabilities. More than 50 percent of the disabled are of working age (18 to 64 years old).
Many young people believe disability only affects others, but sadly every year thousands of young Americans die or are seriously injured due to traumatic events. Accidents or serious medical conditions can happen to the young and old alike. For 20-somethings, they have about a one in four chance of becoming disabled before they reach retirement age.
These statistics underscore the need for disability insurance, but only about one in three employers provide disability insurance as a benefit for their workers. For low-wage employees the numbers are bleaker—only seven percent of them have employer-provided disability insurance. That is why Social Security Disability Insurance is a critical safety net for the majority of Americans and nearly all Americans (more than 90 percent) are covered by SSDI. It is important to remember that, like every other insurance policy, premiums have to be paid. Workers pay the SSDI premiums, which are included in the FICA deductions from their paychecks.
Although the benefits are modest (an average of $1,165 a month in 2015), SSDI is crucial financial support for many American families.