The Social Security disability insurance program has gotten a lot of attention recently — most of it for the wrong reasons. Several media reports have been critical of the SSDI system for catering to people who don’t really need the benefits.
However, as people who receive benefits know, most people who do receive benefits get them legitimately. Essentially, the points boil down to this: employment in recent years has decreased while SSDI payouts have been on the rise.
In a nutshell, this is true; unemployment rates have gone up and the number of people receiving Social Security benefits have risen as well. But it is irresponsible to suggest that the two are directly correlated.
There are several factors that play into this, but there are at least two major ones. First, baby boomers still in the workforce are more likely to be disabled than they were in their younger years. And second, many women have had to re-enter the workforce; based on having worked in the past, many of them were immediately eligible to receive disability benefits.
It’s not as if people can just sign up to receive the benefits without any kind of screening process; in fact, fewer than half of applicants are approved.
People who are considering applying for SSDI benefits should not be discouraged because of things they have heard or read about in the media. The system is designed to help people who need assistance. People who are considering applying for benefits can consult with an experienced Social Security benefits attorney to assist them with applying for those benefits.
Source: Raleigh News & Observer, “Assessing the true need for disability payments,” May 3, 2013