Number of Social Security Disability beneficiaries on the rise

The number of Americans receiving Social Security Disability benefits has dramatically increased across the country and in North Carolina over the last thirty years. At the end of the year in 2011, 8.6 million people received disability benefits.

This number has tripled from 1980 and doubled from 1995.

Factors contributing to the increase in the number of SSD beneficiaries

There have are several important factors that have contributed to the growing number of Social Security Disability beneficiaries, including:

  • Aging Baby Boomers. People are more likely to become disabled in their fifties and sixties than at younger ages. The large number of people that were born between 1946 and 1964 - baby boomers - are now in that age group.
  • More Women Are in The Workforce. In order to qualify for Social Security Disability benefits you have to have worked for a certain period of time. Women began entering the work force in great numbers in 1970s and the 1980s. These women have now worked long enough to qualify for social security benefits.
  • Change in Retirement Age for Social Security. People remain on Social Security Disability longer than in the past. Generally, when a disabled worker reach retirement age, they stop receiving Social Security Disability benefits and begin receiving Social Security retirement benefits. When Social Security's full retirement age rose from 65 to 66, it delayed the change over for hundreds of thousands of workers.
  • Workplace. Work has become less physical than it has been in the past. Despite this change, many older workers between the ages of 58 and 64 have physically demanding jobs, increasing their risk for disability.
  • The Poor Economy. The current recession has increased the amount of applicants to the program and in turn has had an impact in the amount of awards.

If you have an illness or injury that affects your ability to work or enjoy your life, you may be eligible for social security benefits. Information from the Social Security Disability Administration provides information regarding the claims process and the eligibility requirements.

While this information may seem straightforward and simple, the process is actually quite complex. The vast majority of applicants for Social Security Disability benefits are initially denied. There is a multipart appeals process of a denied claim and many deserving applicants spend a lot of time appealing the denial to get the benefits that they desperately need.

An experienced Charlotte Social Security Disability attorney will guide you through the process and help you obtain the benefits you deserve.