As many of our readers are already aware, the number of people filing for disability benefits is on the rise. While this may be because the Social Security Administration has made efforts to streamline the process, making for faster approval on applications, some point to other factors that may be contributing to the rise in beneficiaries.
According to some budget analysts, the increased number of people collecting disability benefits could have a lot to do with the slow growth of the job market over the last few years. With the recession came a sharp increase in unemployment which included a nunmber of disabled workers as well. Now without a job, these people likely qualified for Social Security Disability which may have offered them better financial security in the long run.
As many people here in Illinois can attest, we were not spared from the negative effects of the recession and also saw an increase in unemployed disabled workers just like the rest of the nation. With the recession slowly fading into the distant, some residents may be wondering how many disabled people still have not been able to rejoin the workforce and are still collecting disability benefits to survive.
Unfortunately, the Office of Retirement and Disability Policy has not compiled the data from 2012 at this time so the only current data is from 2011. But despite missing this most recent year, the numbers are still impressionable. According to the congressional statistics, in Indiana alone, over 1.2 million people were receiving benefits from OASDI, or Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance. Of those, nearly 197,000 of them were considered disabled workers.
As predicted, the number of disabled workers will likely continue to rise despite current optimism in the job market. The overall concern now will be whether there will be enough funding to cover the increase in benefits.
Source: 24/7 Wallstreet, “States with the Most Americans on Disability,” May 20, 2013