Take our True/False Quiz. (Hey, you have a 50% chance of being right!)
True or False?
1. There are now more than 200 medical conditions on the Social Security Administration’s “Compassionate Allowances List,” which provides for fast-track disability consideration for people with these medical conditions.
2. If you are divorced, you cannot collect retirement benefits based on your ex-spouse’s earnings record.
3. Drug and alcohol addictions are considered disabilities by the Social Security Administration.
4. An annual cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) is guaranteed.
5. If the Social Security Trust Fund is exhausted benefits will drop to zero.
1. True. The objective of the Social Security’s Compassionate Allowances Program is to ensure that Americans with certain severe medical conditions receive their benefit decisions within days instead of months or years.
2. False. At age 62 or older you can collect retirement benefits based on your ex-spouse’s work history. But you must meet these conditions: 1) you were married at least ten years, 2) you have been divorced at least two years, and 3) you have not remarried (or if you did, that subsequent marriage ended in annulment, divorce, or death).
3. False. Alcohol and drug addictions are very serious problems, but they are not considered as disabilities for the purpose of Social Security disability benefits.
4. False. And in fact, in 2009, 2010 and 2015 Social Security benefit payments were not increased at all for Cost of Living Adjustments.
5. False. Last year, on the Social Security Administration's blog, the then-acting commissioner of Social Security wrote that “the DI (Disability Insurance) fund will now be able to pay full benefits until 2023, and the retirement fund alone will be adequate into 2035." After that unless changes are made, according to Social Security estimates, benefits would drop by around 25% because payroll tax revenues could fund benefits at about 75% of promised levels.