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Increase in SSDI claims follows population, workplace increases

Overall growth in the population, the maturing of baby boomers and an increase of women in the workforce over a generation or more are among the main reasons that the number of people seeking Social Security disability insurance benefits has risen in recent decades. These are among the findings of two economists who say that an aging population alone would lead to the number of people who may need to rely upon the important federal insurance benefits.

In recent times, many commentators and politicians have aired concerns about the number of people who rely upon SSDI benefits to help make ends meet. Social Security disability insurance benefits lawyers know that the process for applying for these benefits is technical, complicated and requires a showing of eligibility.

Many claims are denied, especially at the initial stage. But, with the new research into the potential causes of the increase in SSDI claims shows that the increase was foreseeable and not based upon issues of people just not being able to find a job.

The SSDI eligibility determination and appeals processes require that a disabled worker provide evidence of eligibility. A showing of sufficient work history and medical evidence of a disability are among the complex requirements needed to support an SSDI claim. The process may look at whether or not a worker could find a job, but the technicalities include common sense concepts of the real feasibility of a worker being able to sustain a job with the medical impairments involved and other issues such as the age of the claimant.

Even without the recent commentary suggesting that the increase in applications suggests fraud, a person who suffers from a qualifying disabling condition may be reluctant to seek the benefits for a variety of reasons. Workers in Southern California who have paid into the system over the years and become disabled should not have to worry about the political debates about why the program has grown. What is important is that the SSDI program is in place as a safety net for those who meet the requirements of eligibility.

Source: Los Angeles Times, “Explaining the 'mystery' of where all the disabled are coming from,” Michael Hiltzik, Dec. 3, 2013

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