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Why is the use of disability benefits on the rise?

Like many other people in Michigan, you may be worried about the dismal state of Social Security benefits, and with good reason. According to Forbes, the Social Security Administration was predicted to begin operating at a deficit by as early as 2016. Perhaps because of this impending shortage, you may have heard many rumors and assumptions floating around about why Social Security claims have grown exponentially.

Before discussing those topics, it is important to understand how or why you become eligible to receive disability insurance. You may be eligible for DI if you meet the following qualifications:

  •          Your condition may result in death.
  •          Your condition may last for a year or more.
  •          Your condition hinders your ability to perform job duties.
  •          Your condition makes it difficult to adjust to another type of job.

Many experts believe that changes in workplace demographics may be to blame for the fact that the DI recipient rose from 2.3 percent to 4.7 percent between 1980 and 2011. The fact that more women now make up the workforce in America may account for 29.1 percent of this increase. Another 17.9 percent of the increase is explained by the ageing of the population. An additional 9.1 percent comes from the fact that the retirement age went up from 65 to 66.

But, what about the remaining 40 percent of the spike? How is that explained? Some experts point to lower-income workers who may see welfare checks as a better alternative to working for low wages. Coupled with the fact that the definition of “disability” has changed drastically, it is now much easier to obtain disability. These and all the aforementioned factors will only continue to burden the Social Security reserves until Congress takes decisive action to balance the deficit.

This article provides information on the rise of disability insurance claims and should not be interpreted as legal advice.

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