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Study: Contingent workers less likely to apply for SSD benefits

Many workers in Georgia are unaware that they could potentially qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits. According to a study by the Center for Retirement Research (CRR) at Boston College, contingent workers in their 50s and 60s are less likely than workers with traditional jobs to apply for SSD benefits and are generally less likely to be awarded disability benefits. Contingent workers may be workers in temporary positions, independent contractors and consultants.

The study shows that while 8% of workers between the ages of 50 and 64 apply for disability benefits, contingent workers in this age group are 2.2 percentage points less likely to apply than traditional workers.

The study also revealed that contingent workers were one-third less likely to be awarded benefits. The contingent workers that do receive SSDI benefits receive $150 less per month than traditional workers, due to contingent workers earning less money each month of the course of their careers.

Researchers found that people who work contingent jobs may not have other job opportunities and therefore may be reluctant to leave their positions to apply for disability benefits. People may be worried that the disability benefits they receive may not be enough to support themselves. Many contingent workers also do not have access to SSDI information that traditional employees typically receive from supervisors and from the human resources department at their company.

Older contingent workers may have the most to gain from SSDI benefits and should be encouraged to apply for SSDI benefits. For more information on how to apply for disability benefits, contact an attorney in your area.

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