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SSA data indicates the increased importance of SSDI benefits

Michigan residents may be interested to learn of a trend in Minnesota that suggests an increasing dependence on Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). Data from the Social Security Administration indicates that residents of several northern Minnesota counties are increasingly in need of the benefits offered by the disability insurance program.

Significantly, data for two northern counties indicates that one in every 12 residents receives disability benefits, in contrast to Minnesota's state average of one in every 25 people. The recipients' disabilities range in type, but in non-metro northern Minnesota counties, more skeletal or muscle disorders are reported, and in metro counties, mental disorders are more common.

The reasons for this reliance on SSDI benefits are in part due to the nature of the jobs available in northern Minnesota. The region's economy supports many mining and logging jobs, and this type of difficult physical labor can result in disabling injuries for workers. Additionally, as workers age, they may become more likely to suffer injuries, and therefore need SSDI benefits.

An increased reliance on SSDI benefits is a trend that is seen nationwide as the SSA engages in the process of determining disability. With an aging population, there is an increased risk for disability and injury, and, therefore, a greater demand for SSDI benefits. Additionally, as people must wait until a later age to receive full Social Security retirement benefits, some may apply for disability insurance in the meantime.

Certainly the current discussion regarding the solvency of the Social Security system may be relevant for many in this region of Minnesota considering residents' reliance on, and need for, SSDI benefits. Michigan residents may wonder if their region is in a similar position.

Source: startribune.com, "Social Security disability is a lifeline for many in northern Minnesota," Jessie Van Berkel, March 13, 2016

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