ENJOY ARMED FORCES DAY AND YOUR SOCIAL SECURITY PROTECTIONS
Looking for something fun to do in May? Why not dig out the lawn chairs from the basement or garage and take your family to one of the many Armed Forces Day commemorations around the country? This year, this significant day falls on May 16.
Each year around this time, parades, air shows, and local celebrations honor the brave men and women who serve in the United States Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Coast Guard. In 1953, President Eisenhower called Armed Forces Day a time for “paying special tribute to those whose constancy and courage constitute one of the bulwarks guarding the freedom of this nation and the peace of the free world.”
When America’s military personnel need to file Social Security disability claims, we are there for them. Social Security disability insurance is a critical safety net that protects an estimated 165 million civilian and military workers who pay into the system through taxes on their earnings.
You can hear inspiring stories from some of these workers and learn about Social Security’s disability program at our Faces and Facts of Disability web page. Visit www.socialsecurity.gov/disabilityfacts.
Congress created the Social Security disability program nearly 60 years ago so that civilian and active-duty military workers would have insurance in the event a severe disability cut their work life short. (In 1988, Congress included inactive Armed Forces reservists.) For information of special interest to wounded warriors and veterans, go to www.socialsecurity.gov/veterans.
Whether your job is inside or outside the military, imagine how you would pay your bills if you had to stop working because of severe disability, such as a traumatic brain injury or stroke. You would be glad that you had paid into Social Security throughout your career.
The average Social Security disability payment is under $1,200 a month, barely over the federal poverty level, but enough to help with basic needs. Because the Social Security statute requires a very strict definition of disability, people who receive these payments are among the most severely disabled Americans. In fact, they are more than three times as likely to die in a year as other people who are the same age.
Like America’s vigilant armed services, Social Security is there for us when we need it.
This Armed Forces Day, as you and your family are out enjoying the spring breeze and watching the flight formations overhead, you might want to take a private moment to give thanks for the military personnel who make our many freedoms possible. And, while you’re contemplating all that America has to offer, don’t forget how Social Security disability insurance protects millions of workers every day.
When you get home, after putting those chairs away and tucking everyone in, take a moment to explore the Faces and Facts of Disability at www.socialsecurity.gov/disabilityfacts. What you discover there may surprise you.