Study Shows Decline in Earnings Prior to Disability

March 22, 2017

A new study shows that there is often a decline in earnings prior to claims for Disability Insurance Benefits.  The study demonstrates something that’s obvious at ground level — for most disabled people, disability isn’t something that happens all at once. It comes on over the course of years.  Of course, disability can be prompted by a traumatic event such as a heart attack or a car accident, but more often disability is more insidious and occurs over a period of years as individuals slowly become less functional due to multitude of factors.
This is important because those in Congress and the higher reaches of Social Security tend to visualize disability as mostly associated with trauma but that’s wrong. Trauma is actually a relatively minor source of disability. It’s illnesses that accumulate and worsen over time. Often it’s more than one thing that disables a person. People try hard to fight off disability. Often they wait a considerable period of time after stopping work altogether before filing a claim. People don’t like to have to concede that they’re disabled.  This study shows the general decline in function and earnings that often occur prior to an individual ceasing work completely


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