"I'm Only Trying To Get Back What I Paid In"

Jun 29, 2011 Comments Off on "I'm Only Trying To Get Back What I Paid In" by

Frequently, I hear from my clients trying to get on Social Security disability  “I’m only trying to get back what I paid in. It’s my money.”

I understand the sentiment but it really doesn’t get you very far with Social Security. Actually, if you are approved for Social Security disability benefits, within a couple of years you’ll probably be paid everything you actually paid into the Social Security trust funds and then some. People badly overestimate how much they pay in FICA taxes.

You actually don’t want back just what you paid into Social Security because that would be quickly exhausted. What you want are the insurance benefits you paid for over the years. If your house burns down, the insurance company doesn’t just refund the premiums you paid in.  The insurance company pays you for the loss to the extent of your insurance. It doesn’t matter whether that house has been insured for only a few days or for decades before the fire.

Social Security disability benefits are a form of social insurance, designed so that workers pay premiums through their taxes and then receive benefits that they have become entitled to.

While you may not be looking merely to get back what you paid in, the fact that you worked and paid taxes is important. It means that you should expect courteous, professional service from Social Security and a sympathetic ear when you tell them why you cannot work.

I am sorry to say that Social Security is not able to provide service that is as courteous or as professional as one might like and that the agency is far less sympathetic to disabled people than I think they should. Congress is not giving the agency adequate operating funds and service is not at all what it should be. Congress has traditionally been quite concerned about Social Security approving too many disability claims. It’s always been difficult to get approved for Social Security disability.

If you’d like some help getting what you’re entitled to, some help in dealing with a large, impersonal bureaucracy, contact us. That’s what we do.

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About the author

Charles Hall is the lead attorney for the Charles Hall Law Firm in Raleigh, NC. He has been practicing in the Social Security Disability law field since 1979, is published, and is ready to help new clients win their benefits in North Carolina.