Since 1956, our Social Security system has protected American and their families against the loss of wages in the event of a serious and life-altering disability. Disability is a risk that all Americans face—an estimated 1 in 4 of today’s 20-year-olds will become disabled before reaching their full retirement age. And for many, Social Security benefits are the most important, and often the only, source of protection against lost wages in such circumstances. In 2015, only 34 percent had access to private long-term disability insurance. In contrast, virtually all working Americans are covered by Social Security, and can expect to receive significant protections for themselves and their families in the event of a serious and work-limiting disability. Social Security should not only be protected for Americans with disabilities; it should be expanded.
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