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Social Security Update: About 2.5 Million Black American Citizens Might Be Eligible For SSDI

When it is about disabilities & disability benefits, there is a significant disparity across racial/ethnic groupings, as there is in other areas of life in the United States. According to National Disability Institute research from a decade ago, 14% of Black Americans have a disability, making them the ethnic group most likely to have one. Non-Hispanic whites (11%), Asians (5%), and Latinos (8%) on the other hand, are the next most likely. Age-related differences become more pronounced; for example, 30% of Blacks and 20% of non-Hispanic Whites aged 61 to 65 have some form of handicap.

How To Collect Benefits Despite Hindrance

According to a 2022 study from the U.S. Dept of Labour, 2.5 million Black persons who are working-age in the country have a handicap. According to experts, many people are eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) payments but many also encounter barriers to receiving those benefits. “Marginalised populations, particularly Black Americans with some disabilities, have historically encountered structural as well as systemic obstacles that hinder their abilities to navigate complex systems in this country,” Pam Shlemon, who is known to be the executive director of CRCC, the Commission on Rehabilitation Counsellor Certification, said in an email to GOBankingRates. Additionally, compared to other races, black people are more likely to be disabled, and those who are disabled frequently struggle to find jobs.

Her organization certifies certified rehabilitation counselors (CRCs), graduate-level professionals whose job is to assist Americans with disabilities in achieving independence. Finding out what barriers specific racial groups have to overcome to obtain benefits and employment opportunities is part of their work. Shlemon quoted Labour Department data showing that Black disabled Americans’ unemployment rate (12.3%) is nearly twice as high as that of White disabled Americans (6.6%). Due to this imbalance, Black disabled American citizens have a harder time qualifying for SSDI and other benefits.

Requirements To Get SSDI Benefits

By the Social Security Administration, working Americans who meet the following requirements can receive SSDI benefits: You must have had Social Security employment, and the medical condition must fall under the Social Security Administration’s definition of disability. Those who are unable to work for at least a year or more due to a disability are often granted monthly compensation. Benefits often continue until they can resume regular employment. Additionally, there are work incentives that offer ongoing benefits & healthcare coverage to aid in the transition back to employment.

Black disabled Americans who receive SSDI and comparable benefits “face intersectional discrimination & biases that people don’t know about or understand,” Shlemon said. They find it more challenging to navigate the benefits application and approval processes as a result. However, they can take steps to make the procedure easier. To create a support network, Shlemon advises making contact with organizations that promote disability rights.

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