Today is the 62nd anniversary of President Dwight D. Eisenhower signing into law the 1956 amendments to the Social Security Act, which established Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). This was the result of over 20 years of planning and effort and has resulted in over 60 years of coverage for millions of Americans during some of the most vulnerable times in their lives.
In 1956, the President was a Republican and Democrats were in the majority in both houses. Although SSDI was more controversial than the retirement and survivors’ portions of Social Security, there were compromise laws in the early 1950s that paved the way for these amendments. There is a lesson to be learned in the fact that their long and hard bipartisan efforts still pay dividends to this day.
More than 56 million Americans, or one in five, have disabilities; one in 10 has a severe disability. When a young adult begins working today, they have one in three chances of dying or qualifying for the disability insurance they have paid into before they reach retirement age.
“As advocates for people with disabilities, we see lives impacted by this program every day,” said Executive Director Barbara Silverstone. “We appreciate the protection the disability program provides to those no longer able to support themselves.”
The National Organization of Social Security Claimants’ Representatives (NOSSCR) is humbled and honored to play a key role in advancing the interests of representatives and claimants of Social Security disability programs. We greatly respect the people we work with on both sides of the aisle, government officials and organizers alike, and look forward to celebrating this momentous anniversary for many years to come.
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