Recent research indicates that Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is especially crucial to workers who are high-school graduates or less. The second part of our blog on the report, The Long Reach of Education: Health, Wealth, and DI Participation, examines the four primary reasons why there is a greater likelihood that less-educated workers collect SSDI than their college or graduate school counterparts. These associations provide guidance in explaining why the receipt of SSDI varies geographically and is highest in areas with lower educational attainment.
Poor health was easily the strongest predictor of the subsequent receipt of SSDI. Workers that are less-educated consistently reported worse health than workers with more education. The links between education and health are complex, encompassing factors like smoking, obesity, knowledge about health risks and ability to comply with complex care regimens, access to health insurance, and so forth. For many of the same reasons, education is also linked to longer life.
Differences in wealth for workers based on the level of education workers as would be expected are distinct.
Blue-collar jobs are often held by individuals with less education. These jobs often make difficult physical demands of workers and may expose workers to hazardous substances or other extreme weather and environmental conditions. Blue-collar workers don’t typically have the ability to pursue alternative, more sedentary, less demanding employment. Social Security Administration recognizes this fact in its vocational criteria.
- Employment History.
To qualify for SSDI, an individual must have a strong work history. Once a disability occurs, the ability to work diminishes as the disabling condition worsens over time and finding alternative employment is a struggle. As a result, less-educated workers are less likely to be employed shortly before qualifying for SSDI than those better-educated.
The statistics do demonstrate that overall educational attainment is increasing as there are fewer high-school dropouts and more college graduates in the future pool of workers who may qualify for SSDI. However, the fact that health and wealth gaps by level of education are increasing rather than diminishing is of great concern. The NEBR’s report seems to support the opinion of some that government benefits such as Social Security and other those under the Affordable Care Act are disproportionately crucial to working-class adults without college degrees.
The Sullivan Law Office provides assistance in ensuring that all applicants and recipients receive all of the benefits to which they are entitled in all types of disability cases. These include Social Security Disability, long-term disability, short-term disability, state retirement and workers’ compensation. Contact the Sullivan Law Office today. We offer free consultations, so you have absolutely nothing to lose! We look forward to hearing from you. Call 888-587-0228 or visit us online.