More Disability Claims in a Faltering Economy
I came across an article that discussed the spike in disability claims and the point of the article was to contend that both social security disability and SSI disability have become de facto extensions of unemployment benefits.
I believe I may have read this in the Wall Street Journal, though I'm not quite sure where I read it.
Is this true? No. Filing for disability benefits with the social security administration is a process that often involves layers (i.e. denials and appeals) and more often than not involves anywhere from half a year to several years of a person's time...and extreme frustration due to lack of income and medical concerns.
Is it a mystery that disability claims go up during bad economic times? Hardly. This has ALWAYS BEEN THE CASE. And it is simply due to certain basic realities, ones that are basic as this fact: as the U.S. population ages, we will have more disability claims. This is because, though life expectancy is increasing, we still tend to encounter physical and mental impairments as we get older, very analogous to a machine that's been in operation for a long time.
Here's my blog post on this topic from two years ago:
Why Do Social Security Disability Claims Increase In A Bad Economy?
Many would never guess that a bad economy could lead to an increase in Social Security disability claims. However, more disability claims are a logical outcome when you take the time to think about the effects of a bad economy. When the economy is bad, many companies lay off higher paid employees in an effort to save money or they seek younger individuals to take the place of their older employees, because they are often willing to accept less benefits and pay.
This means that thousands of individuals who are in their forties, fifties, and sixties are being laid off, and individuals of this age group often have health problems. Many worked for employers who were aware of their health problems and some even had employers who actively helped their employees keep their jobs.
Older individuals with health problems are not likely to be hired by other corporations who are looking for individuals who are young and in good health, so what can they do? They still have financial obligations to take care of and often no way to be hired for work.
For many, the very last resort is filing for Social Security disability. From my experience, I've found that, for these individuals, filing for disability is a very humbling experience that they do not relish. Contrary to what many might think, most individuals who have worked all their lives do not want to file for disability benefits.
Keep in mind, Social Security disability benefits rarely come close to what an individual was making while they were working, Consequently, I am sure these laid off workers would rather find jobs that could provide pay and medical insurance for their family rather than filing for disability benefits, although this is impossible for some.
So, the number of individuals filing disability claims continues to grow. In fact, the Social Security Administration has reported that disability claims have risen approximately fifteen percent this year, and they are expecting the number of disability claims will continue to climb as long as people continue to loose their jobs.
Unfortunately, no surprises there.
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