The Social Security Technical Panel recently debunked myths about the causes of the rise in SSDI recipients. It also indicated the overall percentage of Americans on disability insurance will soon level off.
You could be forgiven if, after reading some of the news coverage on Social Security Disability in the last decade, you thought half of the population in the U.S. was receiving Social Security Disability benefits and that the government will soon stop paying benefits because the SSDI trust fund is bankrupt.
Fortunately, this isn’t true.
SSDI benefits are for truly disabled individuals who become eligible for benefits through an application process and by providing specific evidence of disability. And while SSDI has recently begun paying out more money than comes in, that difference can be easily made up at any time by an act of Congress. Many government programs currently pay out more than they receive. While it is never entirely clear how Congress will act on any given political issue, it is not clear any benefits will be reduced in the near future, let alone eliminated entirely.
The many myths about disability benefits
It is true that the number of Americans considered too disabled to work has increased steadily over the last several decades. But while many people considered this a sign that undeserving people were getting benefits, the true reasons are already well-known, albeit less reported. What’s more, those reasons will not spur any more growth in the near future, meaning that the overall number of Social Security Disability benefit recipients will level off soon, lessening the financial strain on SSDI.
The Technical Panel, which released a report in late September, 2015, revealed that the main causes of the increase in SSDI recipients were an aging population, medical advancements that resulted in increased understanding of disabilities, especially mental disabilities, and an increase in women in the workplace.
As baby boomers retire and medical advancements continue to provide care for disabled Americans, it is expected that the number of people on SSDI will decrease for the first time in 30 years in 2016.
You can still become eligible for SSDI
If you are disabled, chances are you’d like nothing more than to find a job that you could perform well, and one that could accommodate your disability. Unfortunately, in some cases it is simply impossible to work while suffering from a disability.
If you have become disabled through injury or illness, you can still receive SSDI benefits, which are intended for people just like you. But the process can be lengthy and complex. A mistake when applying for SSDI benefits can be costly and set back your benefits months, or even years. If you need SSDI, contact an experienced attorney familiar with filing a claim or appeal to discuss your situation and next steps.