The Social Security Disability Situation is Getting Worse
It's fairly clear that economic circumstances have an effect on how many individuals file an application for disability. The social security administration received two and a half million applications for disability in 2008. However, that was before the current recession became indisputable. SSA now believes that the agency will receive up to three million claims in 2009. And it also believes that it will receive as many as three million claims in 2010.
Why the sharp increase in claims? Unemployment most likely. How does this make sense? Well, there's a commonly demonstrated phenomenon in which workers who have significant functional limitations have continued to work at their jobs simply because they've either been able to find accomodation from their employers, or have been able to grind out a niche that shields them from the job-limiting effects of their functional limitations. But then, when the job goes "poof", and they are in the position of seeking new employment in the same industry or a different industry altogether, they find that acquiring gainful and substantial employment has become nearly impossible.
It seems fairly unlikely that social security disability backlogs, or the wait times associated with pending claims, will lessen. And with recent speculations by various economists that the U.S. economy may be hearing into either an L type recession (for example, the decade long slump endured by Japan previously) or a "W" (no reference to the previous Presidential administration is implied) double-dip recession, the outlook for disability claims processing may certainly get worse.
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