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Annual statements will provide information on SSDI benefits

It is impossible to know what the future holds. New Jersey residents do not know if they will suffer an injury or illness in the future that will prevent them from working and earning a living. Many people rely on insurance and programs like social security disability to provide for their daily needs if they are no longer able to work. The system of social security disability can be complex, however. Understanding how it works makes people better prepared for the future.

For the past three years, American workers have not received an annual benefit statement from the Social Security Administration. Soon, however, the Administration will be sending these statements out in order to provide useful information on potential benefits. The annual statements give an estimate of the benefits a person is likely to receive upon becoming widowed, suffering a disability that results in an inability to work or at various retirement ages. These statements provide a calculation of benefits in current dollar terms, however, which means that most people will likely receive more benefits in the future than the statements predict. This is because the estimates of benefits provided by the statement do not take into account inflation. While this can be beneficial in helping people practically understand whether they are prepared for the future, it can also cause some confusion in the creation of retirement plans if those advising workers miscalculate expected returns.

Social Security Disability is one part of the program administered by the Social Security Administration that intends to provide income protection to American workers. Workers pay into the system during their working years in order to be eligible to receive benefits in the future.

Many illnesses and injuries that result in a lasting disability or inability to work can qualify someone to receive social security disability benefits. However, there are specific medical requirements related to each particular condition. At the most basic level, a person must be disabled for at least one year before he or she is eligible to receive benefits. Many people file for benefits on their own, believing it to be a relatively straightforward process, and then are denied social security. People in need of benefits should not give up, however, as many claims are denied initially. Working with an experienced attorney can dramatically improve a person's chances of getting the needed benefits.

Source: Time, "What's Missing in Your New Social Security Benefits Statement," Mark Miller, Aug. 21, 2014

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