How long has Social Security Disability been around?

The beginning of our nation's Social Security system dates back to the Social Security Act of 1935. This act allowed for unemployment compensation and other benefits for workers in Pennsylvania and the rest of the nation at the time it was signed into law. However, in consideration of what we currently refer to as Social Security today, the original act only covered retirement benefits, which began at the age of 65. Social Security Disability and survivor benefits came in later amendments.

The 1954 Social Security Amendments, which were signed by President Eisenhower, were important in providing more economic security to Americans citizens. These amendments were the start of the disability insurance program. While the 1954 amendments did not allow for monthly SSD benefits as we know them today, it did allow workers to freeze their Social Security records while they were temporary disabled and unable to work. That way, time spent not working during a disability would not negatively affect a worker's future retirement benefits.

More amendments in 1956 allowed for disability benefits to be paid to individuals between the ages of 50 and 64. Several years later, in 1960, another amendment was signed by Eisenhower, which gave disability benefits to workers and their dependents regardless of the disabled workers' ages. According to 2012 figures, almost 9 million disabled American workers were benefiting from the Social Security Disability program.

Some reports indicate that the Social Security administration is declining more claims for disability than ever in recent years. While the reason for these rejections is subject to legal, economic and political interpretation, Pennsylvania residents who are applying for Social Security Disability benefits may wish to consult with an SSD legal professional who is familiar with the nuances of SSD law and strategies for qualifying for benefits. By thoroughly reviewing one's medical records, the best strategies for obtaining the highest possible benefit may also be revealed.

Source:, "Social Security started in 1935, but disability benefits came later", Howard I. Kossover, May 30, 2014