Gardberg & Kemmerly, P.C. Attorneys at Law

How woman might approach SSD benefits differently than men

In this world, women are entitled to just as many benefits as men are. However, just because women and men are equals doesn't mean that their situations will always look similar. While one's sex doesn't guarantee anything about a person, it may be telling as to how certain groups are impacted by or attempt certain issues. For women looking at seeking Social Security Disability benefits, there may be issues present for many women that men are not affected by.

Historically, women have been known to leave the work force for stretches in time to take care of children, parents or take care of the household. While this should be seen as a move a person needs to make, it could be seen by the SSA as a gap in a person's employment, which can be problematic later if seeking SSD benefits. Since a person is required to work a certain amount of time and contribute to the SSD out of their paycheck, a gap in taxable income could be a roadblock for more women applying for Social Security Disability benefits. This shouldn't be the only factor if considering to leave the workforce for a period of time, but it should be something that is considered.

It's good to consider statistics too. When women get married, they often change their last name to match their husband's. Be sure to report this change to the SSA to ensure all of one's benefits are recorded correctly - otherwise the funds received to a new or previous name could be more difficult to account for later. Statistically, women live longer than men. This is something to consider if applying for disability because, technically, a woman could need the disability benefits longer than would a man as their lifespan is, on average, longer.

Of course, these examples do not apply to all women. Also, these scenarios could just as easily apply to a man who leaves the workforce to care for family, who changes their name after getting married and who lives longer on average. This just proves that every person's case for seeking SSD benefits is different. While the norm and statistics can give us some general insight, everyone's situation is different when seeking SSD benefits.

Source: forbes.com, "Women, how to maximize Social Security Benefits," Jordan Lochner Mills, September 15, 2017

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