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Economic factors, social change accounts for SSDI rise

For an American who has been badly hurt or stricken by a debilitating disease, the possibility of a missed week, month, year, or more at work can be just as frightening as the initial diagnosis. Although the Social Security Administration's disability benefit system is currently in place with the intention of keeping those unable to work able, at least, to provide for themselves, the system in recent years has undoubtedly become overwhelmed.

Continuing last week's informative theme, more figures and findings have come to light this week as economists, lawmakers, and health care officials all theorize the best means for improving both the outlook of Social Security disability's functionality and the greater labor force situation. And although Missouri has its own set of specific work and health issues, these national trends directly impact many lives, in Boone County and beyond.

In 2012, the number of people disabled and without jobs across the country increased by 1.27 million; at present, 8.8 million workers receive Social Security disability support.

Perhaps more distressing is the increase from 40-to-1 to 18-to-1 in the ratio between the total number of workers in the American economy and those receiving disability payments.

While some have bemoaned the ubiquity of support programs and measures such as welfare, food stamps, and disability payments as de-incentivizing work amongst individuals and human capital creation across the economy at large, other medical factors may be attributing to the rise in disability claims. As the definition, both diagnostic and social, of "disabled" shifts to account for more internal, mental-health oriented ailments, it is only to be expected that claims increase.

For those who have been hurt or become sick, the application and appeal process for Social Security disability support is of the utmost importance. Achieving an expedient and complete benefits plan can make the difference between making ends meet and suffering without. National statistics and rhetoric should not dismay those in deserving need from contacting a Social Security law attorney and aggressively pursuing their case for support.

Source: Star Tribune, "A joblessness trap," Edward Glaeser, Jan. 2, 2013

  • Our firm can help through all steps of the disability benefits claims process. For more information, contact our Missouri law practice.

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