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Social Security belongs to workers who paid into it

When President Franklin Roosevelt signed Social Security into law in 1935, the intention was to guarantee the “security of the men, women and children of the nation against certain hazards and vicissitudes of life.” Since then, Social Security has kept millions of Americans from poverty and hardship.

In addition to providing financial security, Social Security boosts the economy. Benefits supported more than $1 trillion in economic output and more than 9 million jobs nationwide in 2012. In particular, after advocating for disabled workers for more than 30 years, I have seen firsthand the vital role of Social Security Disability (SSD).

Critics of SSD wanting to see benefits cut are spreading misinformation. Yet benefits are so modest many recipients are already barely scraping by. SSD (averaging around $1,130 per month) makes up at least 90 percent of income for half of all disabled beneficiaries.

Some want to make it more difficult to qualify for SSD, however, America’s disability standard is already among the most restrictive in the developed world. More than six in 10 applicants are denied benefits after all stages of appeal.

Instead of making cuts to this vital lifeline, let’s remember Social Security belongs to the American workers who paid into it.

Jeffrey Freedman

Managing Partner, Jeffrey

Freedman Attorneys at Law

Buffalo