Anyone at any age can suddenly become disabled...
What would you do if it happened to you?

Imagine if this happened to you. One day you have a rewarding career and many interests that keep you very busy. You begin feeling ill, and by the next day you’re hooked up to a dialysis machine you will depend on for the rest of your life.

This is the story Ebie shares below. Like him, you’d be glad you had paid into Social Security through taxes on your earnings. Congress created Social Security disability insurance nearly 60 years ago to replace a portion of workers’ lost earnings when a severe disability like Ebie’s strikes unexpectedly.

Ebie's Story

When I was driving to work one day [at a hospital emergency room], I began to feel a little ill. By the time I got to work, I could hardly get out of my car. Luckily, a colleague came by, saw me sitting in my car and that I was not feeling well, and got somebody out of the emergency room to come down and take a look at me. That’s how I ended up being a renal dialysis patient—they found out that my kidneys weren’t working.

I was very active, extremely active. I was into a lot of different things. Very active with my grandkids, very active with my daughters, very active in the community. Part of my job was helping kids to make adjustments in the hospital, and that’s what I did. I did that very well. And not only that, it’s not only kids in the hospital but kids in the community.

"My life without Social Security would mean that I could not afford renal care. People who utilize [Social Security] can live—and be able to provide for themselves better."

During a typical day, I get up in the morning around 7:00, I get ready, I dress myself. I cook my own breakfast. I’m not such a great cook, but I do it. I wait for my bus to pick me up and take me to dialysis. The bus comes, I go to dialysis, and I stay there maybe about 30 minutes before they call me into the room. They hook me up, and then I’m there for five hours.

My life without Social Security would mean that I could not afford renal care. The health care that I am currently receiving, I couldn’t afford it. That’s very important. Social Security provides a lot of stuff that people don’t know about. It’s probably the best thing that ever happened in terms of providing services to people in need. And not only the best thing that ever happened, but it has saved so many lives because people who utilize it can live—and be able to provide for themselves better. And be able to live a high quality of life.

You’re talking about quality of life here. Some people don’t know what quality of life is. But quality of life is everything.