More People Receiving Social Security Disability Benefits

The number of people receiving Social Security disability benefits is on the rise. It has almost tripled since 1980, when there were about 2.8 million workers and 1.8 million dependents receiving Social Security disability insurance payments. By 2010, this number rose to 8.2 million workers and 2.1 million dependents, reports Reuters news.

Social Security disability benefits may be awarded to people who are unable to work because of a disability. However, they are not awarded to people simply because they are unable to find work.

Relationship Between SSDI and Unemployment

In 2000, the number of people in the labor force peaked at 67 percent of people of working age. In May 2012, the rate had fallen to 63.8 percent with an increase in disability claims. A report from the National Center for Policy Statistics states that there is a relationship between the rise in disability claims and unemployment. A study shows that every time the unemployment rate increases by one percent, there is a subsequent 10 percent rise in SSDI applications. Along with the rise in applications comes a seven percent increase in payments. As of February 2012, there were 10.7 million people receiving SSDI benefits.

Requirements for Obtaining Disability Payments

In order to receive Social Security disability benefits, claimants must show that they are not able to continue working because of their mental or physical condition, or a combination of both. They must demonstrate that they cannot make adjustments enabling them to continue in their current employment, and also that they are unable to find other suitable employment. As jobs are scarce in the currently struggling economy, many people with disabilities may be unable to find other suitable employment, possibly contributing to the increase in SSDI claims.

The majority of disability benefit recipients are over the age of 50. Younger people, however, are also applying for and receiving SSDI benefits in larger numbers. The AARP reports that the greatest reported disability among older Americans is back and neck pain. Also on the rise for all recipients are mental disorders such as anxiety and depression.

Disabled workers in need of disability benefits may have a hard time navigating the SSDI system alone. An attorney experienced in Social Security Disability insurance claims can help struggling workers receive the benefits they need.