Harlan Still & Koch

Unemployment for disabled Americans reaches 12.5 percent

Federal officials announced some fairly good news about the U.S. economy recently, saying that the country added 242,000 new jobs in February, and that the national unemployment rate remained at 4.9 percent. However, for disabled Americans, the news was not so good, as Disability Scoop reports.

The Department of Labor announced the latest jobs numbers on March 4. Besides the overall numbers, the report noted that the unemployment rate for disabled people rose to 12.5 percent in February, from 10.8 percent the month before.

Disability Scoop noted that the rise could be due to two factors: more disabled people seeking a job, and fewer people with disabilities having work. These factors could account for such a big jump in the unemployment rate in just one month.

It is important to note that the Labor Department did not start tracking the unemployment rate among disabled workers until October 2008, and that there is not yet enough data to adjust for seasonal trends. Thus, it is possible that the change is not as dramatic as it appears.

Still, it is troubling that disabled adults, who are already so much more likely to be unemployed than the general population, appear to be falling further behind.

There are people with disabilities who can work, and there are people who develop disabilities or chronic diseases that force them to stop working. For people who qualify, Social Security Disability Insurance benefits are a vital financial safety net, to the recipient and his or her family. However, the Social Security Administration rejects most initial applications, so it is often necessary to appeal. An SSD attorney can help you get the benefits you deserve.

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