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Three in Four U.S. Workers Insured for Social Security Disability Insurance, Allsup Reports

Belleville, Ill. (PRWEB) August 09, 2013

About three in four U.S. workers, or 76 percent, were insured for Social Security disability benefits in 2012, highlighting the importance of understanding the role of work history, according to Allsup, which has helped tens of thousands of people to receive their Social Security Disability Insurance benefits.

In 2012, approximately 195.1 million workers age 20 to full retirement age were a part of the U.S. workforce, and 76 percent of those were insured for disability benefits, according to data recently released by the Social Security Administration in its annual Fast Facts & Figures About Social Security, 2013. In comparison, in 1975 only 66 percent of the working population was insured for Social Security disability benefits.

“Although millions of Americans are working, not everyone is fully insured in order to receive Social Security Disability Insurance benefits,” said Tricia Blazier, personal financial planning manager at Allsup. “Your earnings record based on your previous work plays an important role in your ability to seek SSDI benefits.”

Disability Insurance Benefits and Four Keys of Work History
Allsup outlines four components of the disability insurance application process that involve work experience and are reviewed by the Social Security Administration.

1. Work history indicates if someone is currently insured. Workers contribute to the federal Social Security Disability Insurance program through payroll/FICA taxes. “In some ways, this is like paying your auto insurance premiums,” Blazier explained. “To be eligible for coverage, you need to pay into the program.”

A basic qualification for SSDI benefits is that someone must be currently insured, which means the person has recently paid into the disability insurance program. Specifically, this means having paid for 20 quarters of coverage in the past 10 years. Someone “buys a quarter” by earning a certain amount of money during a specific calendar year. For example, someone who earned $1,160 in 2013 bought one quarter of coverage. Workers can earn four quarters in one year. (Note: Those under age 31 have lesser requirements.)

2. Work history demonstrates when someone is fully insured. There are two methods to determine if someone is fully insured. One is that someone has 40 quarters of coverage over the course of his or her working career. (Someone can earn up to four quarters in a year.) Another method, typically used with younger individuals, is to have six quarters of coverage, plus one quarter of coverage for each year after the age of 21. For example, someone age 27 likely only needs 12 quarters of coverage to be fully insured.

3. The SSA also uses work history when evaluating whether an applicant is disabled. While the SSDI program is a medical-evidence based program, the applicant’s work history also is examined. SSA examiners look at the ability to perform work done in the past, as well as the ability to perform any work. Generally, someone’s work experience during the past 15 years is more relevant to the SSDI claim. Read more about general disability guidelines on

4. Work history also factors into the SSA’s calculation of benefits—how much money someone receives. The SSA tracks earnings and taxes paid, usually through W-2 forms filed each year. This earnings information is used to calculate someone’s monthly Social Security benefits.

SSDI is a federally mandated insurance program that provides monthly benefits to individuals who are under full retirement age (age 65 or older) and who can no longer work because of a severe disability. The disability must be expected to last for 12 months or is terminal.

Anyone with questions about their work history or seeking SSDI benefits, may contact an Allsup professional for a free evaluation at (800) 678-3276.

Allsup is a nationwide provider of Social Security disability, veterans disability appeal, Medicare and Medicare Secondary Payer compliance services for individuals, employers and insurance carriers. Allsup professionals deliver specialized services supporting people with disabilities and seniors so they may lead lives that are as financially secure and as healthy as possible. Founded in 1984, the company is based in Belleville, Ill., near St. Louis. For more information, go to or visit Allsup on Facebook at

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