Now officially among the ranks of Americans who are either receiving or eligible to receive income disability benefits from Social Security, I am curious about the statistics and depth of this program. At this site, I discovered that in 2008 disability benefits were paid to over 8.5 million people. And in that year, awards to disabled workers (877,226) accounted for about 89 percent of awards to all disabled beneficiaries (987,525).
My disability claim was approved this week and the application for this benefit was prompted by lingering issues with my immune system following four years of treatment for mantle cell lymphoma.
For more than 12 months in the last two years I have been on medical leave and while I am currently in remission, my ongoing treatments have delayed basic inoculations for most of the childhood diseases. Hence, we have to be guarded about public contact.
As I have explained to those who asked: My former work in a career that spanned more than 38 years required a great deal of public contact, particularly with grateful hospital patients (and sometimes many who were seriously ill). This meant that the most effective way to guard my own health was to take early retirement and long-term disability. All of which gives Dee Dee and me a different understanding of the pejorative term, "entitlement."