How the gig economy impacts Social Security disability benefits

In Missouri and across the nation, an increasing number of people are taking part in contingency work – also known as the “gig economy.” While this can be beneficial to people and companies, it also raises concerns as to how people who are contingent workers will fare if they are injured, ill or suffer a condition and need Social Security disability benefits. A recent study from Boston College says that these workers should have help in dealing with SSD benefits. Of course, when anyone suffers a work-related injury or any other kind of medical issue that prevents them from working, they should have legal assistance.

The study, conducted by the Center for Retirement Research at the college, says that contingent workers who range in age from their 50s to early 60s are not as likely to seek and be approved for SSD benefits when compared to workers who have a traditional job in the same age range. The researchers say that people who have done this type of work from age 50 to 64 are more than 2 percent less likely to apply for SSD benefits. When considering that 8 percent of workers in that age range apply for SSD, the lesser number is a significant amount of people.

It also says that contingent workers were 33 percent less likely to receive SSD vs. workers who were never in the gig economy. Those who got it received $150 less each month. That stems from earning less during their working life. The researchers believed that contingency workers had a greater likelihood of reporting a disability as they have a greater frequency of self-reporting. Contingency workers are frequently unaware of the disability process as they do not have a company or other employees to help them understand that it could be available if they need it.

For all workers, whether it is in a traditional job or as a contingency worker, it is imperative to understand how to seek SSD benefits after there was an injury, illness or condition that prevents the person from working and they need medical care. Since so many people working in this way is a relatively new phenomenon, it can be confusing when seeking SSD and understanding the benefits’ requirements. Having legal advice from a law firm that helps clients with the Social Security disability claims is imperative for workers regardless of their situation.

Practice Areas

Military Law
Family Law
Social Security Disability
Worker’s Compensation
Personal Injury