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A Rise in Social Security Disability Claims: What This Means For You

We've previously blogged about the estimated waiting times for the different stages in a Social Security Disability claim.  A recent rise in the number of Social Security Disability claims is partially to blame for the lengthy waiting time. But, what's to blame for the recent rise? Claims for Social Security Disability Insurance in the U.S. have risen in the last three years, and some say the weak economy is a major reason.

 

Nationwide, the number of initial disability claims rose from about 2.6 million in the 2008 fiscal year to 3.16 million in the 2011 fiscal year. Filing for disability might now offer the best option for individuals who, in better times, would continue working, or continue looking for work. In better economic times, individuals who might have qualified for Social Security disability might have chosen to work despite health problems because job income often pays far better.

In the last three years, however, with unemployment rising, some individuals who lost their jobs may have viewed the insurance program as a potential financial backstop. Disabled individuals, who might have sought out alternative employment opportunities despite their health problems, are finding fewer options available for them in the workforce. The increase in applications that have stemmed from the rising unemployment rate have had an undoubted effect on the Social Security Disability claim process. Despite any new hurdles that may present themselves as a result, we want our clients to know that we will continue to take over the burden of making the benefits process work for them. 

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