From Crowdfunding to Influencing: The Changing Nature of Work and New Operational Challenges for Social Security’s Disability Benefits Programs in the 21st Century

15 Pages Posted: 13 Jan 2022

Date Written: November 30, 2021

Abstract

The Social Security Administration’s (SSA’s) Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) programs provide economic support to individuals who are unable to work due to one or more disabilities. These programs originated with gradual amendments to the 1935 Social Security Act in the 1950s and 1970s. They define disability as the inability to perform work in the national economy at a substantial gainful level—and thus obtaining SSDI or SSI benefits includes a process of proving to the SSA that a claimant, for medical reasons, is unable to perform jobs currently available in the national economy. Administration of this type of program is understandably challenging, due not only to changes over time in medical practice, but also to changes in the way that Americans work and earn money. This Article explores challenges to the SSDI and SSI programs posed specifically by the changing nature of work and income in the 21st century, including the advent of crowdfunding, online donation platforms, and new job titles and functions that change the way that Americans work and earn a living. Additional clarification in a number of areas could help claimants and their representatives navigate the SSDI and SSI programs, from the initial application stage to maintaining eligibility for benefits.

Keywords: SSI, SSDI, Social Security, disability, crowdfunding, donations, benefits

Suggested Citation

Suuberg, Alessandra, From Crowdfunding to Influencing: The Changing Nature of Work and New Operational Challenges for Social Security’s Disability Benefits Programs in the 21st Century (November 30, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3974875 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3974875

Alessandra Suuberg (Contact Author)

Decency LLC

398 Columbus Ave
#313
Boston, MA 02116

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