Number of SSDI Recipients is Up 22 Percent Nationwide Since 2007

May 14th, 2012

Approximately 8.7 million Americans who are unable to work collect Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits each month. That number has increased by about 1.6 million, or 22 percent, since the Great Recession began in 2007. By March 2012, a record 5.3 percent of the United States population between the ages of 25 and 64 collected SSDI benefits. In 2011, applications rose to a rate of about 18 per 1,000 Americans of working age.

According to economic analysts at JPMorgan Chase and Morgan Stanley, the rate of working age Americans who were either employed or seeking employment fell by about 25 percent during the last five years. In January 2012, the United States labor force participation rate fell to a 30-year low of 63.7 percent. Despite the two percentage point drop since 2007, the number was headed back up slightly by the end of March. Economists believe SSDI recipients may make up as much as one-fourth of the overall drop in participation that occurred during the last half of a decade. According to Michael Feroli, Chief U.S. Economist at JPMorgan, the availability and use of social programs like unemployment benefits and SSDI can have a dramatic influence on the economy as a whole. Some economists believe the effect SSDI has had on labor participation rates will increase once extended unemployment benefits expire at the end of 2012. With more Americans collecting SSDI, both the unemployment and labor participation rate will likely be lower.

SSDI benefits pay on average about $1,100 per month to Americans who suffer from a mental or physical disability that renders them unable to work for at least 12 months. Recipients are also granted access to government health care programs. Applications generally rise during a recession because it is often more difficult for those who suffer from an impairment to procure gainful employment in a scarce job market. In fact, unemployment rates for the disabled rose at a much faster rate between 2008 and 2011 than for healthy people. Many citizens who collect SSDI benefits do not return to the workforce. According to Morgan Stanley Managing Director David Greenlaw, approximately 99 percent of all SSDI recipients collect benefits until they reach retirement age.

Unfortunately, the SSDI application process can take years to navigate and almost 90 percent of applications are initially denied. If you are disabled and unable to work, it is a good idea to discuss your case with a knowledgeable Massachusetts social security disability attorney who can help you file your application or appeal and receive the benefits you deserve.

At Pulgini & Norton, LLP, our experienced Hyde Park social security disability lawyers are available to assist you in navigating the SSDI application process. Our diligent attorneys will work with you to file your initial claim, gather required medical documentation, attend hearings, and if necessary, file your appeal. Our law firm represents disabled clients throughout the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. If you would like assistance with your social security disability claim, call Pulgini & Norton toll free today at 781-843-2200 orcontact our experienced lawyers through the law firm’s website.

Additional Resources:

Number of US workers claiming Social Security Disability Insurance climbs 22% in 5 years , by Alex Kowalski, Bangor Daily News