Recent numbers released by the Social Security Administration indicate that :

  • Nearly equal numbers of women and men now collect Social Security Disability Insurance benefits
  • Percentage of women insured for SSDI has increased dramatically between 1980 and 2017
  • Women receiving SSDI are more likely than men to qualify due to mental and musculoskeletal impairments
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From USA Today:

Social Security provides critical benefits to millions of retired seniors. But relying too much on those benefits could spell trouble once your career comes to a close.

Unfortunately, it seems like a large chunk of women are doing just that. An estimated 62% of female workers expect Social Security to be their primary source of income in retirement, according to new data from Nationwide. Worse yet, 18% of women are looking to Social Security to provide more than 90% of their senior income. That’s just downright unrealistic.

Social Security alone can’t pay the bills

Contrary to popular belief, Social Security was never designed to sustain retirees in full. Rather, it was designed to supplement seniors’ income. These days, those benefits will replace roughly 40% of the typical worker’s pre-retirement income. Most seniors, however, need more like 80% of their previous earnings to live comfortably — and by “comfortably,” we’re talking about having enough money to cover all basic living expenses. Those wishing to travel extensively or engage in a host of leisure activities will need considerably more.

And that’s precisely why it’s so dangerous to rely so heavily on Social Security. These days, the average recipient gets just $1,404 per month, or $16,848 per year. If you’re among those women who expect Social Security to cover upward of 90% of your expenses, you may want to reconsider — and start ramping up your savings game.

A recent New York Times article suggests that people who cited health reasons for not working are returning to the workforce.

The rise in the number of Americans not working because of disability was so persistent for two decades that some economists began to hypothesize that the trend would never reverse.

But perhaps it has. Since a peak almost four years ago, that number has steadily fallen, showing its largest decline — both in terms of head count and percentage — in at least the last 25 years. It’s good news, but it also raises important questions about how much further the labor market has to heal.

For the entire article, go here:  https://tinyurl.com/yb3epcvn

I haven’t been to a national conference in two years and I didn’t realize how much I had missed getting together with colleagues.  Presenting with John Pennington, an attorney in Birmingham, was a great experience.  It was the first time that we spoke together and our session went over well.  I attended numerous other sessions and came away from Atlanta with new ideas about how to improve my client’s chances of winning cases.  I need to get back into the habit of attending on a yearly basis.  Next Fall, I hope to go to NOSSCR’s 40th Anniversary Conference set in New Orleans.

I am pausing the blog while I am in Atlanta attending the NOSSCR conference.

NOSSCR Atlanta

April 18, 2018

I am excited about my upcoming trip to Atlanta later this month where I am honored to be presenting a session with John M. Pennington, an attorney from Alabama I have known for years.  This is the first time John and I will be presenting together.

It’s always exciting to get out of the office and talk with other attorneys about issues that my clients are facing.  I like to brainstorm solutions and learn from colleagues in formal sessions, in the hallways and over meals during the week I will spend in Georgia.

From the Acting  Commissioner of the SSA:

I am delighted to inform you that President Trump has announced the intent to nominate Andrew Saul to be Commissioner of Social Security.  Andrew is a businessman from New York who served as the Chairman of the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board.  As Chairman, he was responsible for overseeing the Thrift Savings Plan, which is the retirement savings account for federal employees.

President Trump has also announced the intent to nominate David Black as the Principal Deputy Commissioner of Social Security.  Many of us have worked with David, whether in his current role as Advisor to the Office of the Commissioner or General Counsel of Social Security from 2007-2015.  David has also served in the U.S. Army on both Active Duty and in the reserves for over 27 years.

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