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Mental Disability Psychologists

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Philadelphia, PA 19139-4542

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$354,000 life

insurance and

$233,000 for



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Q. But isn’t Social Security funded by a payroll tax? You put your money in, then get it back later.

A. In a way. Say it’s more like “insurance,” not a bank or depository, but a sieve. Nobody dumps money in, then sits around and automatically gets it back. Don’t forget, now, half also comes from the employer, and all of it still goes to the person. Like commercial insurance, Social Security uses your funds, pays its bills, makes a profit after expenses, and also provides services, but only for qualified recipients. Now hear this...1-in-3 young men eventually become disabled before their time of retirement.

Q. Is Social Security a good deal?

A. Is it? You bet it is. In fact, for the average wage earner with a family, Social Security survivor benefits are equivalent to a $354,000 life insurance policy. It’s also a $233,000 disability insurance policy and covers pre-existing conditions. Most commercial insurance companies don’t after something goes wrong with you.

Q. Yes, but what about changes in the program?

A. Sure, change is inevitable, and there have been changes–going on since President Roosevelt’s day. In the 30’s, he only wanted Social Security for a select few, yet never intended it as a 100% give-away of what they’d need upon retirement. Its goal simply meant preventing retired people from living off scraps. Much later, Congress thankfully added something for the poor, elderly, disabled people, blind, as well as children.

Q. But, aren’t there various other programs or some such thing?

A. Put it this way. Social Security begot Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and then it begot Supplemental Security Income (SSI)–all under the Social Security Administration’s big umbrella. Rather than explore more of its programs, let’s just settle on these two.

Supplemental Security Income

Q. I know, I must be jumping all around, but where does SSI fit in?

A. No problem. SSI simply says that Uncle Sam is a gracious and kind uncle who is genuinely concerned about the disabled needy, so he offers something to help them so needy folks might make a few ends meet.

A. No resources over $2,000 for a single person in cash, bonds, stocks, jewelry, savings, real estate, excluding where you live, and so forth. It’s a $3,000 limit for a couple, with limited resources.

Q. I have pretty much in my mind what’s meant by “disabled,” so now tell me about the “genuinely needy?”

Q. Alright then, how about explaining further?

A. Okay, just briefly. Social Security first came on stream primarily to provide a little nest egg for retirees, as well as funds for their dependents and so forth, once workers put money into the kitty from their pay. What goes in by younger workers pays for the retirement of older ones. And so forth. That’s intergenerational, as I said before.

SSDI, as the name implies, takes care of those with credits, who become disabled and can no longer work. Their dependents are looked out for, too. Then we have SSI. That’s for needy people with limited resources, if blind, disabled, or elderly. Money for them comes out of the U.S. Treasury– not based on employment.

Backed Up Social Security