Social Security Disability Applications on the Rise

February 10th, 2012

Applications for social security disability benefits have recently surged nationwide. Many economists believe the sharp rise in applications is a result of both an extended economic downturn and millions of individuals who have exhausted their unemployment insurance benefits. Two recent studies demonstrate just such a correlation. The recent influx of social security disability applications has created an increasing backlog.

Currently, 10.6 million people in the United States collect Social Security disability benefits. The head actuary for the Social Security Administration, Stephen Goss, has stated an increase in applications during times of economic stress is completely normal. Goss believes this is because it is simply easier for the disabled to find jobs when the economy is strong.

62-year-old Ellen Marino applied for social security disability benefits after she lost her job working for AT&T in 2008. Despite that Marino spent months searching for a position in more than one state, she was unable to successfully find work. Eventually, she began applying for any position available. Marino finally applied for social security disability benefits based on her legitimate hearing issues. Although Marino has spent most of her life wearing hearing aids, she never expected to be unable to find employment. She was denied benefits twice before she decided it was time to retain a social security disability attorney. Last summer, she was finally awarded $1,700 per month in disability benefits.

Many unemployed and disabled Americans have a difficult time convincing officials they qualify for social security benefits. Those collecting unemployment benefits often face an especially tough hurdle when compared with individuals who suffered a recent illness or injury. Judges who hear social security disability appeals after an applicant is turned down should take into account current economic conditions which might have an effect on a disabled individual’s ability to obtain employment. An applicant’s age and level of education are also factors which should be considered as few beneficiaries ever re-enter the workforce.

In 2009, 36-year-old Ivy Quinton applied for social security benefits when her unemployment benefits were exhausted. She suffers from joint pain, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis. Although she attempted to find employment and start her own business, she found her physical disabilities to be too cumbersome for her to succeed. Quinton was turned down for disability benefits twice before she decided to seek the assistance of an attorney. Last October, an administrative law judge granted her appeal for disability benefits.

On average, those receiving social security disability benefits receive $1,000 per month and access to government health care programs such as Medicaid and Medicare. Unfortunately, the application process can take several years to navigate and nearly 90 percent of initial applications are denied. An experienced Massachusetts social security disability lawyer can help you receive the benefits you deserve.

At Pulgini & Norton, LLP, our experienced Boston social security disability attorneys will assist you in navigating the application process. Our diligent lawyers will work with you to file your initial claim, gather required medical documentation, attend hearings, or file your appeal. Our firm assists clients throughout the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. If you need assistance with your social security disability claim, call Pulgini & Norton today at 781-843-2200 or contact us through our website.