Social Security disability applications are up nearly 50 percent from a decade ago and, according to new congressional estimates, the trust fund that supports Social Security disability is expected to run out of money by 2017. Unless Congress takes action, the Social Security disability program would be unable to pay full benefits in just a few years.
The increase in Social Security disability claims is largely due to the number of people with disabilities who have lost their jobs and are unable to find new jobs given the latest economic downturn which resulted in a loss of nearly 7 million jobs.
According to an article by the Associated Press, it is common for Social Security disability claims to increase in a bad economy due to the number of disabled people laid off and unable to find a new job. This year, approximately 3.3 million people are expected to apply for federal disability benefits – an amount that is 700,000 more than in 2008 and 1 million more than a decade ago.
An increase in the aging population is also responsible for the large increase in Social Security disability claims. Retirees qualify for full Social Security benefits at age 66, with early retirees qualifying for reduced benefits at age 62. Disabled retirees, however, may qualify for full social security benefits even before age 62, depending on work history.
Social Security Commissioner Michael Astrue has pledged to reduce the processing times for applicants who appeal claim denials, with some success. While the number of people waiting for appeals decisions has increased, the average wait time for processing an appeal has decreased.
Social Security Disability benefits are available to those persons who are unable to engage in work due to a medical condition that is expected to last at least one year or result in death. Because the Social Security system creates strict guidelines for eligibility and requires specific documentation of the applicant’s disability and financial means, a skilled social security lawyer can be incredibly helpful in navigating the application process.
Whatever the stage of the social security disability claim process and whatever your specific disability, our proficient Chicago social security disability attorneys can advise you on the legal requirements and assist you with the claims process. Contact one of our skilled Chicago social security disability attorneys at (312) 600-0000 to schedule a free consultation to discuss your social security disability claim.